At the weekend, Crafty Green Boyfriend and I visited North Merchiston Cemetery, one of the two closest cemeteries to our flat, and one of the places we discovered as part of our #DailyExercise route during lockdown. We noticed that there were quite a few ladybirds still hibernating on some of the gravestones, although from the photos below, you can see that some of them are starting to move about now that it's warming up for the Spring.
Two standard form two spot ladybirds (one starting to go for a walk) and one sexpustulata form.
cream spot ladybird
Today I visited Corstorphine Hill cemetery as part of my ongoing wildlife survey of all the cemeteries managed by the City of Edinburgh Council. I've already surveyed every cemetery once, and so now am surveying selected sites for a second time. I saw several ladybirds in this cemetery too, including this crowd of orange ladybirds - you may notice that the ladybird on the top row, second from the right looks as though it has been attacked, probably by a hungry bird. Ladybirds mostly don't taste good to predators though, so the bird probably gave up quite quickly!
Cemeteries are known to be great sites to find hibernating ladybirds, probably because the gravestones offer a good surface for them to land on when they fall from the trees and also because many gravestones are carved with ornate designs that offer nice hiding places where these insects can try to keep warm in the winter.
I was delighted the other day to be invited to a discussion about ladybirds in cemeteries, you can watch and listen to the event here.