There are still one or two of these beetles slowly crawling around. I know the visitor centre at Bedford Park has been quite literally infested with swarms, hundreds strong, all gathering to begin hibernation.
I thought I'd pop two photo's on BG ("Blue-Grey") to show you just what my new camera and lens is capable of, and compare it to the best shot I got of this type of Harlequin Ladybird (the Succinea form) with my phone, in Tottenham, last spring.
Unfortunately, it seems like I stressed out the beetle I photographed yesterday - you will clearly be able to see the fake orange blood that these Ladybirds exude from their joints when under duress. This orange goo, or to give it its correct name, reflex blood, (it tastes horrible and makes any predator stupid enough to ignore the colour of the elytra (wing-cases or shell), think again when it tastes the beetle) has covered half of this individual's pronotum, (white and black bit behind the beetle's head).
Still - a reasonable shot, I hope to get more accomplished the more I play with the setup...
Succinea form Harlequin Ladybird (Phone, Tottenham, Spring 2007).
Succinea form Harlequin Ladybird (Camera, Reading, Winter 2007)