ladybird

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ladybird

any of various small brightly coloured beetles of the family Coccinellidae, such as Adalia bipunctata (two-spotted ladybird), which has red elytra marked with black spots
References in periodicals archive ?
The mums also said they can bite and one lady referred back to the long hot summer of 1976:"The drought that year produced ladybird plagues.
And if all that isn't bad enough, they also eat our traditional ladybirds and their eggs, as well as butterfly eggs and caterpillars.
For hundreds of years our ladybirds have basked in the glory of being the nation's second favourite insect behind our over-the-top show-offs - the butterflies.
The harlequin ladybirds from Asia, which were introduced in continental Europe to control pest insects on crops and have since spread to the UK on fruit and flowers and by being blown across the Channel, have become a common sight in the past decade.
Manager Simon Millar said: "Most ladybirds are predators, eating aphids, scale insects and other sap-sucking insects, which is why they are so popular with gardeners.
We can't blame the warm summer this year for the aphids and for the millions of ladybirds in Somerset and Norfolk, but there they are.
Harlequin ladybirds are sold throughout mainland Europe, Australasia and North America by biocontrol companies to combat aphids without resorting to pesticides, but their unwelcome impact was never foreseen.
Experts say the ladybirds are feasting on the natural larder of aphids or greenfly that descended on the farm last month.
Harlequin ladybirds are voracious aphid eaters and have left native British species struggling to find enough food.
So be careful out there now since ladybirds are mating about now, whereupon the male ladybird dies and the females are up and about needing to consume an enormous amount of aphids to keep going.
Dr Helen Roy, senior lecturer at Anglia Ruskin University, which is carrying out a survey, said: "The problem with the harlequin is that it out competes many of the UK's native ladybirds.