Sunday, April 29, 2018

Space invaders.

Invasive species are a problem in our ever shrinking world.  And this harlequin ladybird, also known as the Asian ladybeetle (Harmonia axyridis), is invading my personal space by hanging out in the Pinot grigio block.  Identifiable by a distinctive 'M' on their pronotums, harlequin ladybirds seem hell-bent on world domination; I have become very well acquainted with them over the last four years on my trips home to Blighty.
This particular ladybird did not follow me back to California from England.  No, harlequin ladybirds were introduced to the Golden State, back in the 70s and 80s, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in an attempt to control agricultural pests.  And they have been quite successful in that respect, but they have also been successful in out-competing native North American ladybirds whose numbers are dwindling.  Sad, really.  However, I still like them in the vineyard, they're pretty to look at and I'm assuming that they will be useful in fending off any other invasive aliens.   


Dennis Tsiorbas said...

The can bite! One bit me last fall, and it actually hurt!
Bug bites dogs

Vinogirl said...

NHW: They had invaded Thud’s house, again, on my recent trip home, I think one of his kids was bitten on the arm. Nasty little things. They’d better stay away from V2.