A Tasmanian Ladybird

Recently I published a post introducing the topic of ladybirds. Since then I have been vigilant when out in my garden.

Yesterday I saw another type of Ladybird: this time the examples were found on two different trees located some distance from each other. On my pear tree and on my cherry tree. Both plants have the soft squishy larvae of the ‘pear slug’ eating their way through the leaves before they morph into Sawflies, so I imagine it is the eggs of this insect that the ladybirds are eating. Thank you ladybirds – but please eat more!

To identify this ladybird, first I revisited the Gardening Australia magazine article. Alas – this ladybird wasn’t shown nor described. Then I went to the CSIRO’s comprehensive listing of the ladybirds but with so many words rather than images to choose from it seemed too slow.  I googled and found a useful New Zealand website. The photos on this site show ‘my’ ladybirds (Cleobora mellyi), and the accompanying text explains this is a native Tasmanian Ladybird. Of the three top photos in The Atlas of Living Australia, my ladybirds looked like the one on the bottom left with the bright yellow base on which a connected line of black ‘spots’ zigzags across the shell. It interests me that in none of the descriptions should these ladybirds be feeding on my exotic trees – it seems the ladybirds were designed for eucalypt trees but have developed a taste for the insects of my fruit trees.

Which Ladybirds have you found in your garden and have you been able to make an identification?

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