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About Me

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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

14 August, 2015

Harlequin Ladybird: the foreign invader | Nature Notes from Dorset

The harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) is one of our best known examples of an 'invasive species'! It is causing concern as it spreads through Britain and, as it does so, interbreeds with our native ladybirds and will, it is thought, eventually mean our pure bred species will be no more. This is a very emotive topic and our attitude to new species colonising our islands has been described as akin to racism. 
The harlequin ladybird is a native of south east Asia and was brought to Europe BY HUMAN BEINGS to control aphids. From mainland Europe, by one means or another, it has reached our shores and with the potential of a changing climate (man made of course) it is likely to spread far and wide. Having got here courtesy of man-kind as a perceived benefit to man-kind it is now seen as a potential enemy. 
New species colonising new areas of the world is nothing new, it has been going on for millennia. In this country most of the species, even the ones considered indigenous, actually arrived here from elsewhere after the ice age. There is no doubt that as human beings travel the globe there will be many, many more examples of new colonies becoming established;

Read more: Harlequin Ladybird: the foreign invader | Nature Notes from Dorset