Ladybirds are among the most popular of British insects. Their bright colours make them attractive and easy to find, and as most ladybirds are predatory, eating plant pests such as aphids, they are well regarded by farmers and gardeners.
Despite their popularity very little information has previously been published about ladybirds. In this book Michael Majerus redresses the balance, assimilating a wealth of information about these fascinating beetles. He discusses their structure, life histories, food, enemies, habitats, distributions, colours and patterns, genetics and evolution. He sheds light on the phenomenon of cannibalism in ladybirds and the recent discovered of a ‘feminist’ bacterium that kills eggs destined to produce males, but not those destined to produce females. Finally there is a discussion on the use and potential use of ladybirds as biological control agents, how they are under threat from humans, and what we can do to conserve them.
In the best tradition of the New Naturalist series this is the definitive work on the natural history of these delightful beetles.