A study carried out by an international team of ecologists has shown that there have been fewer sightings of several ladybird species, which could be as a result of the larger harlequin. The harlequin was first recorded in the UK in 2004 and results of the study showed that since then, the population of certain species, such as the two-spot ladybird, has decreased.
The study included information on sightings of ladybirds collected by the public in the UK, Belgium and Switzerland.
Co-author of the study, Tim Adriaens, from the Research Institute for Nature and Forest in Belgium, said: “Within the insect world ladybirds are as iconic as panda bears.
“The arrival of the harlequin could impact on the resilience of ecosystems and severely diminish the vital services that ladybirds deliver.”
The Harlequin ladybird was listed at number 5 on the Royal Horticultural Society’s list of top 10 pests in 2010.