Harmonia axyridis (NL: Veelkleurig Aziatisch lieveheersbeestje / EN: Asian lady beetle, Japanese ladybug, Harlequin ladybird / DE: Asiatischer Marienkäfer / FR: Coccinelle asiatique) is a large coccinellid beetle. Its colour ranges from yellow-orange to black, and the number of spots between 0 and 22. It is native to eastern Asia, but has been introduced to North America and Europe to control aphids and scale insects. It is now common, well known and spreading in those regions. Many people now view this species as a nuisance, partly due to their tendency to overwinter indoors and the unpleasant odor and stain left by their bodily fluid when frightened or squashed, as well as their tendency to bite humans. In Europe it is currently increasing to the detriment of indigenous species, its voracious appetite enabling it to out-compete and even eat other ladybirds. Native ladybird species have experienced often dramatic declines in abundance in areas invaded by H. axyridis.
Image: Ranst (BE) – 16/06/2012
© Johan Dierckx
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