Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Sighting of the Kidney Spotted Ladybird from Cork

Kidney Spotted Ladybird, Chilocorus renipustulatus
Ireland is home to 18 species of ladybirds, 15 of which are considered resident here (1). All of these species are also present in Britain along with 8 more (2), so it is therefore feasible to think that some of these 'extra' species may appear from time to time in Ireland as migrants. Nonetheless, I was still quite surprised to see an individual Kidney Spotted Ladybird (Chilocorus renipustulatus) on branch of some low growing willow in an unused quarry about 18 km from Cork city center on the 19th of September last. C. renipustulatus is not recorded as being present in Ireland, even though it is of common occurence in England (though less so in Wales and very rare in Scotland). 

Kidney Spotted Ladybird, Chilocorus renipustulatus
The ladybird possessed the characteristic domed elytra which were rimmed at their edges and demonstrated defensive behaviour typical of C. renipustulatus, namely clamping tightly against the surface of the branch it had been moving along. The site at which the ladybird was spotted is quite close to a large ferry port, which may account for its presence there. It may also, however, be a symptom of global warming that has lead to an increase in the numbers of species of dragonfly found in Ireland.

Kidney Spotted Ladybird, Chilocorus renipustulatus
  1. http://www.habitas.org.uk/ladybirds/
  2. http://www.ladybird-survey.org/default.aspx

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