While salivating at the sight of the bonfire night cup cakes in the window of a well known chain of high street bakeries a ladybird caught my eye as it alighted close to me. Instantly recognisable as a harlequin I reached for the naturalist regulation issue toffee hammer by which to dispatch the objectionable interloper, but paused. On closer inspection I quickly came to appreciate the markings on this most attractive of coleoptera. Black wing cases adorned with two large red spots topped by lovely facial markings. Why do we have to squash um? I just can't do it. So, with a new found appreciation I lovingly encouraged the beetle out of harms way waved it goodbye and made my way back to work wondering if a moral offence had been committed.
On the subject of invasive non-natives I've also heard today of a record of the yankee western conifer seed bug from a house in Cwmbran. First noted in the UK in 1999 its now known from an increasing number of locations over southern England, with sightings also coming in from west Wales see http://www.gowersightings.blogspot.com/. This individual is thought to be the first for vc35. Thanks to NL for providing the info.