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Striped Ladybird: coffee and cream

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Striped Ladybird: coffee and cream

Not all ladybirds are red with black spots. This one, the striped ladybird (Myzia oblongoguttata), is coffee coloured with cream stripes and spots! Otherwise it has much in common with its cousins in terms of size and shape. As with some other ladybirds the exact pattern of the markings can vary within the species. The books actually describe the dominant colour as chestnut brown but coffee and cream works for me.

The striped ladybird is quite common although not seen very often as it specialises in feeding on a particular species of large brown aphid of the Cinara family that are associated with Scots pine. As a result you will only find this ladybird on Scots pine woodland and Dorset is considered to be one of its strongholds. I was fortunate to find one on a gate in a Scots pine woodland.

Whilst I understand the logic that species can find a niche in which they can survive but I cannot help thinking such a dependency on one particular food source is a very high risk strategy. What if the Cinara aphid 'crop' failed one year?


 

If you would like to see the complete series that this post is part of click here ---->
This nature note was written by ----> Peter Orchard
This nature nore was written ----> 2 years 3 weeks ago

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