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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Orange ladybirds, Halyzia 16-guttata in The Long Plantation, Shabden Park

 Volunteers were hard at work today coppicing hazel (above) and clearing glades in Shabden Park under the direction of Reserve  Manager, Bob Crompton.
 Colleagues spotted these ladybirds in several different clusters

The orange ladybird (Halyzia sedecimguttata) has 12-16 white spots. It overwinters in leaf litter or sheltered positions on trees and eats mildews. Considered until 1987 an indicator of ancient woodland, it has become widespread since it became common on sycamores; it has recently moved on to ash trees. It is attracted to light and is often found in moth-traps Ref;
Because of the way that they are clustered and after some frosty nights, they seem to have been hibernating or just enjoying the fungus on this branch.  They were very active once disturbed.
Seeing such lovely insects is one of the benefits of working with such a conservation work party.
The Hazel tree that I coppiced was 40 years old from counting the rings; long overdue to be coppiced.

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