Have you recently seen autumn aggregations of ladybirds prior to overwintering? This is an ideal time for us to collect and prepare wintering experiments (this year we were satisfied with about five thousand individuals collected in Ohaře). In the last four years, we are trying to reveal the secrets behind the overwintering success of Harmonia axyridis, a well-known invasive species. We are interested in several factors related to the ladybird mortality during hibernation such as humidity and temperature experienced in overwintering microhabitats, the size of aggregations, and the presence of a fungal infection.
Thanks to all our friends and students for accommodating the ladybirds around their homes!