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Ladybirds thriving in Suffolk this year

PUBLISHED: 10:07 28 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:07 06 July 2010

IT may not quite yet be the scorching summer we were promised but the inclement weather is certainly proving popular for one Suffolk resident.

The recent spell of warm, wet conditions has been perfect for ladybirds - ensuring they are flourishing across the county.

IT may not quite yet be the scorching summer we were promised but the inclement weather is certainly proving popular for one Suffolk resident.

The recent spell of warm, wet conditions has been perfect for ladybirds - ensuring they are flourishing across the county.

The red and black spotted insects have been seen in unusually high numbers throughout the countryside and along the coast in recent weeks.

In Southwold at the weekend, thousands of the insects were landing on tourists along the beach.

Last night, experts said the weather conditions had been perfect for ladybirds to flourish.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Wildlife Trust said: “There has been a lot of food for them this year.

“They feed off green fly and there have been a number of these around. As a result they have had a constant food source so more survive and they can live for longer. If it's a good year for greenfly, it's a good year for ladybirds.”

She added that there also did not seem to be too many Harlequin ladybirds around this year - the most invasive ladybirds on the planet.

The insects came to England in 2004 from northern Europe and are a major threat to native species, feeding off the larvae of other ladybirds.

Sarah Henshall, conservation officer for invertebrate conservation trust, Buglife, based in Peterborough, warned that Harlequins can quite often look like domestic ladybirds.

“The weather conditions have been good for native species,” she said. “The warm spring has meant that the habitat is right and there is a lot of vegetation. The young have been surviving longer and if they are happy and the environment is right then they will multiply.

“However, the Harlequins can look like British species. They came over from Europe and are bad news because they are extremely prolific.”

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