How Rare is this Ladybird?

I spotted this odd-looking Ladybird on the bonnet of our car and wondered if you've seen any?

The UK Ladybird Survey has found 26 species that are readily recognisable as ladybirds.

According to this source, this version is named as an Orange Ladybird - Halyzia sedecimguttata. It is often found in woodland, particularly around Sycamore and Ash trees. It's typically spotted between April to October. It feeds on mildew and overwinters in leaf litter or sheltered positions on trees. This species was once closely associated with ancient woodland but is now increasing in the UK as it has adapted to feed on Sycamore and Ash.

I looked on the internet for more information about this particular one and found a series of fascinating questions about them and all Ladybirds in general.

Here are some of them.

Are yellow ladybirds poisonous?
Ladybugs are not poisonous to humans. However, they can have toxic effects on some animals. Ladybugs have a foul odour which deters some predators from eating them, and their bright colours also help as a deterrent.

Why are some ladybirds yellow?
When the ladybug gets out of its pupa, it's colours aren't fully formed. These colours form within a few hours to a few days. First, they're a spotless pale yellow. Then, their spots develop, and the rest of the wings slowly turn orange or red.

How long do ladybirds live?
One year, after a female lays her eggs, they will hatch in between three and ten days, depending on the ambient temperature. The larva will live and grow for about a month before it enters the pupal stage, which lasts about 15 days. After the pupal stage, the adult ladybug will live up to one year.

How high can a ladybug fly?
Scientists find ladybirds are capable of flying at 37mph, at altitudes of 3,600ft. It travels at the speed of a racehorse and can fly at altitudes close to the height of Ben Nevis. But it is not a bird or a plane. It is, in fact, the humble Ladybird.

Fascinating stuff. I wonder how many more of the variations I'll spot this year. Keep your eyes peeled.


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