Invasive alien predator causes rapid declines of European ladybirds


8 February 2012


A new study, supported with funding from JNCC, has been published by the Centre of Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) which provides evidence of the impact of invasive ‘harlequin’ ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis) on populations of native ladybirds.  Using data from Britain, Belgium and Switzerland, the study provides strong evidence for a causal link between the arrival of invasive alien species and a subsequent loss of native biodiversity. 

Lead author, Dr Helen Roy of the UK’s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, said, “This study provides strong evidence of a link between the arrival of the Harlequin ladybird and declines in other species of ladybird, a result that would not have been possible without the participation of so many members of the public gathering ladybird records across Britain, Belgium and Switzerland.”



In 2011 the first atlas of Britain and Ireland’s ladybirds was published by the Biological Records Centre.  The atlas contains a detailed analysis of ladybird observations from the last twenty years. The results show that ten ladybird species have significantly declined in this period, whilst five have increased. Distribution maps are provided for each species together with a wide range of supplementary information covering recording techniques, species identification, ladybird parasites, historical aspects, and 194 colour photographs.


Learn more about the atlas: Ladybirds (Coccinellidae) of Britain and Ireland

Return to Graphics version

| JNCC - Adviser to Government on Nature Conservation | Site Map | Search | Legal | Feedback | List Access Keys |