Thursday, 4 July 2013


Case 1.

1. A few years ago the Harlequin Ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, arrived in Britain, raising grave concerns; it was known to be a predator on the larvae of other ladybird species.

2.  Two years ago my observations suggested that it was the commonest ladybird in the Byfield area.

3. This year, to date, I have seen no 7-spot or 2-spot Ladybirds (usually very common).

4.  My garden roses are currently plagued with aphids - insects upon which ladybirds feed voraciously.

Case 2.

1. My garden pond normally supports a strong population of Dolichopod flies (commonly referred to by entomologists as 'dollies').

2. Last year the pond was occupied by three sizable Common Frogs. No dollies were noted.

3. No frogs are present in the pond this year.

4. Dollies are abundant to the extent that when I paused by the pond earlier today my clothing and arms were quickly occupied by these harmless insects. (Particularly prominent were the males of Peocilobothrus nobilitatus; with their white-tipped wings, constantly being waved to attract females, these are perhaps the most distinctive of all dollies.)
The dolichopodid fly Poecilobothrus nobilitatus
beside my garden pond. Byfield, 4 July, 2013

These two cases may be just what the title suggests - coincidences. Our recent weather has been very odd and this may be a crucial factor, but...

I am entitled to ponder.
Ditto, posing on a Hosta leaf

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