Spot the difference

What a difference a year can make…After a distinct lack of ladybirds last year, this year these beautiful little bugs are back and appear to be thriving!

IMG_8164

IMG_8748

IMG_8959

Quite what caused the disappearance last year I’m not sure, perhaps it was the cold snap caused by the ‘beast from the east’ which wiped out many hibernating populations, or perhaps they couldn’t cope with the subsequent drought of the summer?

Whatever the exact reason, it seems highly likely that the strange weather patterns were to blame, and yet people still deny climate change exists?!

Heading out today you could hardly miss the ladybirds. Each step through wildflower verge and little red shells could be seen bumbling around everywhere, in fact it was quite difficult not to squash any underfoot.

IMG_8807--

IMG_8188

IMG_8169

IMG_8859

One even hitched a ride on my jeans before it was safety deposited back in the foliage.

IMG_8588

IMG_8589

I began to count each ladybird but lost count after fifty…all in just one small area. Almost all of these were native species, the seven spotted ladybird which, as it’s name would suggest, has seven spots on it’s shell arranged symmetrically on both sides.

IMG_8381

IMG_8699

Although usually fairly slow moving, when startled they could certainly put on a turn of speed, scurrying up blades of grass with surprising agility despite their somewhat cumbersome body shape.

IMG_8770

IMG_8173

IMG_9021--

IMG_8879

IMG_8957

My attempts to catch them in flight, or at least with open wings were rather unsuccessful, this being the only decent shot of the day…

IMG_8823

It looks like there will be even more ladybirds appearing in a few weeks time, as all around pairs were busy mating.

IMG_8635--

IMG_8850--

IMG_8923

Mating appears to be a fairly slow process for ladybirds, with pairs joined together for minutes and even hours at a time!

IMG_8639

IMG_8628

IMG_8613

IMG_8654

Whilst some pairs remained stationary, other females continued to forage and clamber among the grasses as their males bravely clung on!

IMG_8563

IMG_8576

IMG_8583

IMG_8579

This female even stopped for a feast of aphid while mating continued.

IMG_8459--

Captured with a Canon EOS 80D & macro extension tubes


All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2019 ©
www.greyfeatherphotography.com

If you like what you see, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram (@greyfeatherphotography) to see my latest photographs. Hit the little ‘follow’ button on the bottom to subscribe to my blog. Thanks for reading! 🙂

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Stunning macro shots! I always loved ladybirds.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.