Ladybirds wide awake - in February

Ladybirds in February in Brian Thompson's garden.'1 Gannow Close'Killamarsh'Sheffield
Ladybirds in February in Brian Thompson's garden.'1 Gannow Close'Killamarsh'Sheffield

IT may be ‘down south’ compared to Sheffield. But surely Killamarsh shares the same climate as the rest of us?

Or maybe it really is a top coat warmer just a few miles south of the city centre.

How else can Star reader Brian Thompson’s picture be explained - which shows a cluster of summery ladybirds in his back garden in Gannow Close?

Brian said: “I am no expert but I would think it very unusual for this time of the year.”

According to experts, ladybirds hibernate all winter, often in large groups sometimes numbering thousands. But they usually sleep through until late March or April.

And if they wake in the middle of winter, and there are no aphids for them to eat, they may simply starve to death.

The weekend’s warm temperatures obviously woke some sooner than usual.

Roy Mosley, head of operations at Sheffield Wildlife Trust, said: “Balmy temperatures have been a wake-up call for many creatures - there have been reports of frogspawn in the West Country and Wales. Because of the warmer weather these last few days, they probably think it’s the start of Spring.”

But the good news for the ladybirds is we’re set for three more days of sunshine with temperatures predicted to top 15C - the same as forecast for the Costa Dorada in Spain.