IF lady birds are thought of as good and peaceful
Then why are harlequin thought of as pests?
The Harlequin ladybird is a native of Asia and is classed as an invasive species in the UK, having been found its way to the UK via north America and Europe. The rapid spread of this species in the UK has been recorded and tracked since it was first It was first found in 2004 see Harlequin Ladybird survey website for full details http://www.harlequin-survey.org/
It had been feared that this invasive species may threaten numbers of some of our native UK ladybird species by competing for the same foods (aphids and small invertebrates) and perhaps even feeding on the larvae of other ladybird species. After six years of dedicated recording it appears that there has been a decline in numbers of a few of our common ladybird species and where it has established itself in UK the Harlequin is often the most common ladybird species found.
The Harlequin appears to have an advantage - it is the first ladybird species in the UK to emerge after winter and it is the last to hibernate in the very late autumn.
All things considered it is a gorgeous looking ladybird (in all its forms) and they do eat lots of aphids.
Here's a image to show the variation within this species taken by my colleague Martin Honey.