Sunday 8 April 2012

Lay them and eat them

During the past week, Harlequins have become more noticeable. I spotted a few walking on a tree trunk in my street. Today, passing by the same tree I had a look and saw many clusters of bright yellow-orange eggs laid on small crevices on the tree trunk, they are not wasting time! One of the Harlequins seemed to be laying (above). I also noticed that some egg clusters looked like they had been partially predated. The culprit is not hard to find: Harlequins are known by their cannibalistic tendencies, so - hungry after winter - , they may turn to eat eggs laid by other ladybirds. They also may be able to eat their own unfertilised eggs.
A Harlequin stretching its wings in the sun
A cluster of eggs
Harlequin near cluster with predated eggs
A close up of another cluster. Note the chewed up egg on the top right hand side.

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