No, not a threat to Scotland's hopes for independence, but instead the worrying news that the first Harlequin ladybird larva has been discovered in Glasgow by RSPB staff. Although there have been sightings of the ladybirds themselves there, this is the first proof that they are actually breeding in Scotland.

Harlequin ladybirds are native to central Asia, but were introduced to Europe as a form of aphid pest control. They spread very quickly, and their efficiency in feeding off insects, other ladybirds' larvae and butterfly eggs means that they are putting many native British species at risk. There have been frequent sightings in the south of England, but this movement to Scotland shows just how fast they are spreading and also suggests that here in the UK they can be found in the majority of the country. Exactly what the impact will be on native species is still to be seen, but first indications are not good. Hopefully lessons will be learnt about the dangers of introducing non-native species and the effect that doing so can have on our native wildlife. 

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