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Small is beautiful

August 22, 2013

Orange-spotted LadybirdJust to show that size (or lack of it) is no barrier to qualifying for this blog, we’ve included this lovely little beetle that came in on the clean washing straight from the line. It’s an Orange-spotted Ladybird (Orcus australasiae) and the fine-knit windcheater background gives an idea of the size – approx. 5 mm long. This ladybird reverses the usual colour scheme of black spots on orange/red wing covers found on many species of the Family Coccinellidae, including the familiar Common Spotted Ladybird (Harmonia conformis).
Many ladybird beetles are not just pretty, but perform a useful role as predators on aphids, mealy bugs, mites and scale insects. So, despite their depiction in the ABC-TV’s Minuscule series as irritating little smarty-pants, they represent a valuable means of biological pest control.

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