19 March 2016, 15:30 - 16:30
Ladybirds are amongst the most popular and charismatic of insects. They are loved for their bright colours and patterns - and legend has it are bringers of good fortune. Britain has more ladybird species than you might imagine, with 47 different types. Find out how data from the public has greatly added to our knowledge of these fascinating beetles. Many ladybirds are spotted and brightly coloured, whilst others have camouflaged patterns to blend into their surroundings. What is the purpose of the bright colour patterns? The harlequin ladybird is a new species that arrived in Britain in 2003, but how fast has it spread? How is this alien ladybird affecting native insect species? How is climate change affecting ladybirds? Come and find out the answers to these and other fascinating questions about our most colourful beetle family. Also learn how best to find ladybirds and how to record them to help wildlife research via the UK Ladybird Survey.
The speaker, Dr Peter Brown, Anglia Ruskin University, co-runs the survey with Dr Helen Roy, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Natural Environment Research Council. Together they have written two books and many papers on ladybirds.
Photo by Nick Greatorex-Davies