Unlike previous years, I didn’t have many ladybirds in my garden this year. Perhaps it coincided with the fact that I didn’t plant any sunflowers in the garden – the ladybirds seemed to thrive on them in previous years. Apart from a couple of juvenile 2-spot ladybirds (Adalia bipunctata), I saw no other ladybirds in the garden this summer. I did come across a lovely specimen of an orange ladybird (Halyzia 16-guttata) near Barna Woods earlier in the summer. Though I’ve always seen ladybirds as a thing of beauty, there is one invasive species – the harlequin ladybird – and this story in the Guardian describes what happened when someone got bitten by one.