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Monday, 27 February 2017

Do Ladybirds damage trees

Pehr Kalm (the Genus Kalmia is named after him) was the favourite disciple of Carl Linnaeus of Sweden and he was sent on a botanical mission to North America in 1748, subsequently writing a book of his travels there.

Kalm was delayed for 5 months in England whilst waiting for a ship to America and during this time recorded many observations, one of which referred to a Coccionella which damaged trees in Ireland.

The Coccionella are the Ladybird family. I always thought they just ate aphids but it seems some species do eat vegetation and the larvae graze the undersides of leaves whilst the adult beetle grazes the upper side.

The 24 spot Ladybird is listed as eating leaves but seems mainly recorded in East Yorks and the South. Has anyone ever noticed damage to trees locally by any leaf grazing Ladybird species?

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