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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 October 2007, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Call to track 'invader' ladybirds
Harlequin ladybird
The predatory ladybirds are spreading across Europe
Sightings of predatory ladybirds first spotted in Britain three years ago are being recorded by a council after a number of recent finds.

Shropshire County Council is asking residents to keep their eyes peeled for Harlequin ladybirds, which are black, red or yellow with varied spots.

The large insects, about 7mm long, are used as control for greenfly in Europe and also eat soft fruits.

The council wants people carrying cameras to snap the Asian insects.

Dan Wrench, biodiversity officer for the council, said: "We welcome reports of sightings, particularly with a photo, as this will help us track the progress of this invader."

The ladybirds compete for food with native British species and eats other ladybirds, butterfly eggs and caterpillars.

SEE ALSO
Survey to track 'alien' ladybird
15 Mar 05 |  Science/Nature

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