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An insect declared extinct in the UK six decades ago has been found alive and well.

Experts confirmed yesterday that a breeding colony of 13-spot ladybirds was found in Devon by Richard Comont, a PhD student at Oxford University.

‘As soon as I saw the larva, I was fairly sure it was a 13-spot,’ he said. ‘It’s something I’ve dreamt of finding. It’s such a significant discovery, I took it back to rear it to adulthood to make sure.’

It makes you wonder what else is out there waiting to be rediscovered.

The 13-spot, similar to the more common seven-spotted variety, was found in the Axe Estuary Wetlands during a wildlife survey.
James Chubb, education ranger for East Devon district council, said: ‘We knew that we would find loads of really interesting and unusual creatures, but never for a second did we think we’d make a discovery of this magnitude.”A spokesman for the conservation trust Buglife said: ‘How exciting to rediscover this ladybird breeding in Devon after being declared extinct in the 1950s.’It makes you wonder what else is out there waiting to be rediscovered. Many of Britain’s invertebrate populations are declining at a drastic rate – so it is great to have some good news.”

The 13-spot ladybird has a similar pattern to the familiar seven-spot ladybird, with between seven and 15 black spots on a background of orange-red.


Ladybirds facts

  • The name ladybird has been commonly used for centuries and was a reference to the Virgin Mary, because in paintings she was often wearing a red cloak.
  • According to an old wives tale – they can be used to predict the weather. If one falls off your hand, it will rain. If it flies away, conditions will be fine.
  • Many people don’t realise that we have so many different ladybirds living in Britain: 46 species. Not all of them are brightly coloured and spotty.
  • Ladybirds refuse to fly if it’s below 12.7C (55F).
  • Ladybirds beat their wings 84 times a second when flying

Thank you 🙂


To see this (original) article click *HERE*


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