Maybe an unwanted Harlequin Ladybird

In response to my recent blog posts on ladybirds, friend Mary sent me a photo of a couple she found in her garden. 

I set out to identify these and would like to think they are the Harmonia conformis also known as the Large Spotted Ladybird. This was the ladybird which prompted my research when I found one in my own garden recently.

If my identification is incorrect, could this be the invasive unwanted ladybird known as the Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis)? You can read more in a June 2019 article here. The article implies the insect has not yet arrived onshore in Australia so perhaps a different identification is warranted. When I read that story I was more alarmed. I continued to research and discovered that the Harlequin Ladybird is now a pest in Western Australia (read here). Alas.

For so long, perhaps you are like me and have romanticised the ladybird and never given a thought to the possibility that one species could turn rogue. Any thoughts?  Any findings in your own garden?

Mary sent the following newspaper article published in the local newspaper The Mercury in 1996.

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