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Harlequin Ladybird
Graphite on Paper
Approx 59x42cm (unframed)

This drawing continues a new series which focuses on invasive species of wildlife found in London. It combines a study of a Harlequin Ladybird as seen in flight, with a hand-drawn copy of a map of Covent Garden markets, as they were c1895 when still used for the sale of fruit and veg, and flower markets.

Although Britain actually has 46 species of Coccinellidae (with 26 of these familiar as 'ladybirds'), the invasive Harlequin species has flooded to a position of possible domination in less than a decade since introduction.

Although initially introduced to many countries as a form of biological pest control of aphids, the Harlequin, originally native to eastern Asia, probably entered the UK in 2004 through flower and vegetable imports. They are now found in high concentrations around areas close to the Eurostar, and the current site of 'new' Covent Garden Market.