I seem to have acquired a new pet! She has been appearing in the early evening for the last three days, spending time exploring my laptop, rambling over my hand as I type, climbing the walls and flying about my desk! So what is she? To give her her proper name she’s an Adalia bipunctata, but to you and me, no doubt, she’s a two spot ladybird - ladybug if you are anywhere else….. about 4 mm long with one spot on each wing case.
The spots on my tiny visitor are like pin points compared to the ones in most of the pictures I’ve looked at, including this one! There are hundreds of photos of two-spot ladybirds on the net, and as I haven’t got the right equipment to photograph her myself, I have unashamedly nicked some. Isn’t she cute! I say “she”! Could be “he”! Difficult to tell the difference really!
The two spot ladybird, I have discovered, is the National insect of Latvia. Did you know that? No, I didn’t, either! I wonder, do we have a National Insect? I must look it up!! I somehow don’t expect we do.
A couple of other ladybird facts – there are an estimated 3500 varieties of ladybird in the world. 46 of them can be found in Britain, the two-spot and seven-spot being the most common. They eat aphids which is why a ladybird will lay its eggs on the underside of an aphid-ridden leaf so that there is plenty of food for when the eggs hatch!
Mine was climbing the wall a moment ago , but she’s gone again. Don’t suppose she’ll be too far away. I wonder if she’s decided to hibernate in the house. They do that sometimes, apparently, usually in groups – so maybe my one is not a she but a they!
I’ll let you know if I find more!
Thanks to Jon Law for the first photo and all his other beautiful ladybird photos here, uksafari.com and Jeroen Mentens
Talk again soon.