Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beetle Gone South

Somehow, with all the press coverage of the arrival of the Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) in the UK, the news that the same species had arrived in South Africa around the same time came in way under the radar. This excellent article (pdf) in the South Africa Journal of Science indicates that it has been present there since at least 2004. Menawhile, the Cape Times is reporting that the beetle was discovered last week in Cape Town, and appears to be spreading quite rapidly through the country. Researchers are tracking this spread, and anyone seeing a suspected Asian lady beetle in South Africa [now don't be bugging them with reports from the US!] is encouraged to photograph it and contact Riaan Stals by phone (012 304 9560) or e-mail (stalsr AT

Update 04/29/08: The Asian lady beetle has now made its first appearance in Australia, though the specimens that were discovered were, thankfully, dead.

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