Cryptococcus fagisuga vs. a ladybird = death

There’s a massive beech tree (Fagus sylvatica) in an area near to where I work, and I had a look at it yesterday as a colleague mentioned it was being attacked by the scale insect Cryptococcus fagisuga. As the primary agent in the successional disease known as beech bark disease (where the scale insect creates wounds that Neonectria fungi infect, and then proceed to also attack the host beech, potentially causing mortality in the long-term), whilst it may not necessarily look bad, it’s not something professionals are likely going to be fond of. For this reason, it was delightful to see a solitary ladybird absolutely wreaking havoc upon the scale insects (one of its predators), and long may it continue to do so! If only there were more, as then it’d be utter devastation.

beech bark disease ladybird 1
People need to stop throwing talc on beech trees…
beech bark disease ladybird 2
A close-up of the ladybird’s feasting frenzy. Nice to see, though obviously not for the scale insects. Despite this, it’s controlling the damage the scale insects will cause, and thus limits the potential adverse impacts of the resultant wounds.
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Cryptococcus fagisuga vs. a ladybird = death

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