Ladybird Ladybird fly away home!

Harmonia axydris (Japenese Ladybug)

An interesting and somewhat worrying presentation at the ICCS yesterday by Kevin Ker from Brook University, Canada.

Ladybirds are often regarded as beneficial insects that feed on harmful pests like aphids. However some non-native ladybirds like the Harmonia axydris (known as the Japenese Ladybug) are increasingly being found in vineyards in North America, Canada and Europe, including the UK. This species can cause a real problem in vineyards by tainting the grape must, which can't be rectified in the wine making process.  Apparently in Canada this has been a big problem, resulting in thousands of litres of wine being poured down the drain. 

In the UK its not yet a significant issue, but we will keep a lookout for the Japenese Ladybug which has a distinctive black "M" on the back of it's head.