Scientific Classifications explained
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UK Nature > Ladybirds > Harmonia axyridis
Scientific Name: Harmonia axyridis
Common Name: Harlequin Ladybird
Harmonia axyridis, more commonly known as the Harlequin Ladybird, was originally a native of Asia. It was introduced into North America in 1988 to control native pests, where it is now the most widespread and abundant ladybird on the continent. In Europe, the Harlequin spread naturally across the continent, finally arriving in Britain in the summer of 2004.
It comes in a multitude of variations of colour and markings, but the commonest versions in the UK are orange with 15-21 black spots and black with two or four orange or red spots. The pronotum is usually white or cream with up to 5 spots or fused lateral spots forming 2 curved lines, M-shaped mark or a solid trapezoid.
Harlequin ladybirds feed most commonly on aphids, but have a wide food range, also feeding on scale insects, the eggs and larvae of butterflies and moths, many other small insects, including other ladybirds, pollen, nectar, and sugary fluids, including honeydew and the juice from ripe fruits.
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