The Harlequin Ladybird Survey
Harlequin ladybird elytra
HOME What is a ladybird?Recognising the Harlequin ladybirdFact FileResearchRecording sightingsFor young peopleAcknowledgementsContactsUseful links

Ecology | Enemies | Origins | Why the concern?


Origins of Harlequin ladybird

What are the origins of this invasive ladybird?

The harlequin ladybird is a native of eastern Asia, occurring from central Siberia, Kazakhstan and Tashkent eastwards through Russia to the Pacific coast, Korea and Japan and south to Mongolia, China, and Taiwan and into the Himalayas.

The harlequin ladybird has been introduced into many countries as a biological control agent against aphid and scale infestations in greenhouses, crops and gardens. Populations have now established in North America, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Belgium, Holland, Greece and Egypt .

Arrival in the UK

The harlequin ladybird arrived in Britain in 2004 probably by a variety of routes. Some have probably flown across the channel, others have been found on flowers imported from Europe, and in packing cases from Canada. The high numbers found in Battersea, Clapham and Chelsea suggest that some could have arrived via Eurostar or with vegetables and flowers destined for Covent Garden.

It is essential that we monitor the spread of this invasive species.