The Ladybird Challenge aims to involve you in our research. Help us find the 7-spot ladybird and the wasp parasite Dinocampus coccinellae (sorry, there's no English name for it!) that attacks it.
This research project is investigating whether the natural balance between the 7-spot ladybird and this wasp parasite has been disrupted by the arrival of another ladybird: the invasive alien harlequin ladybird. This invasive ladybird species has caused large population declines for many native UK ladybirds, but its impact is predicted to be even more widespread, with 1000 insect species affected in the UK. We want to know if ladybird parasites have been impacted.
We therefore need your help to find 7 spot ladybirds and tell us whether or not they have been attacked by the Dinocampus wasp. We can then link your observations to information gathered by the UK Ladybird Survey on the number of harlequins in your area to help us answer our question.
We would like you to go hunting for 7-spot ladybirds and tell us how many you find; how many have an easily recognisable seed-shaped cocoon between their legs. Record your ladybirds and where you found them using our online form.
Your challenge is to add more than 7 records! For every record you create you will earn a ladybird spot. Can you earn all 7 spots!?
Sign in to take the challenge or watch our video for more information.