What Do Ladybirds Do In Winter?

Temperature and day length trigger synchronous re-emergence in spring, in time for the arrival of food. Ladybirds have to wait for unfurling leaves, and then for the aphids to get going too.

A huddle of sleepy 7-spots
A huddle of sleepy 7-spots

In Northern Europe temperatures above 12°C rouse the common 7-spot, but in North America the convergent ladybird needs over 15.5°C. Emergence is not precise, however. This is a hedge against freak weather awakening a group before more typical winter conditions return.

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