All of the ladybirds remained on the plant for the next few days, despite horrible cool and wet autumnal-like weather with a very stiff breeze; they diligently worked away, chomping their way through my greenfly - I say my like I'd choose to actually own the greedy, promiscuous blighters.
I just went out to the bin and went over to monitor their progress - and was astonished to see that the rose was almost cleaned of greenfly - a handful of odd specimens remain - but the plant is as clean as it's been all summer. I could actually see 2 of the ladybirds still munching away. I suspect the others might have fallen off, stuffed to bursting and moaning that they couldn't possibly eat another single thing, not even a wafer thin mint! I imagine they're lying in the leaf litter beneath the rose, clutching their stomachs.
I grabbed my 'jewellery' camera which was close by, as one of the ladybirds devoured a greenfly, seemingly almost half it's own size, in a matter of seconds.
Please click the photos for a larger, clearer view.
It's not very sharp as it's a very dark day and the stiff breeze was moving the leaf and the poor ladybird significantly and locking focus was somewhat tricky from an inch away. You can just see the last trailing edge of a disappearing greenfly.
I love hover flies - we seem to get quite a lot of different species in the garden and they fascinate me to watch them - with their little flat ended tongues probing leaves for sap and their undercarriage that they drop and raise as they come to rest and take off - they never bother you or come into the house, just go quietly about their business. This little chap - and he was a little one - was working away on the sticky sap left behind by the greenfly - so they made a good team.
I wonder how much they charge and if they have any mates who want work?