01 November 2019 02:49

Harlequin ladybirds carrying the disease could greatly affect our native bugs by passing on the fungus.

Harlequin ladybirds are the same size as native ladybirds, sometimes a little bigger. They range in colour and pattern, but some of the most common forms are black with red spots, red with black spots and orange with black spots. Harlequins have two white spots on their thorax. Unlike native ladybirds, however, most have a brownish underside and orange legs, which makes them fairly easy to distinguish. The 'dangers' of harlequins Harlequins have attracted negative publicity since they were introduced in Britain 2004, but in reality they are nothing to worry about.

They are known to reproduce quickly, gather in large swarms and compete with native ladybirds for aphids. They have shown signs of cannibalism, consuming the larvae and eggs of other ladybirds. But disease and predators are bringing the population under control. Occasionally, a ladybird will bite humans if provoked, but it is harmless and causes no more than a minor irritation. Harlequins can also carry an STD called laboulbenia.

It is a fungus that forms little scales on the wing cases, and sometimes white crust on some parts of the exoskeleton, which can be seen with the naked eye. The STD also infects native ladybirds - the harlequin is simply another host for the fungus to live on. The good news is humans cannot be infected. Submitted by Harlequin Productions Harlequin Productions presents Henrik Ibsen's classic drama A Doll's House, May 2 through May 25 at the State Theater in downtown Olympia. Artistic Director Aaron Lamb will direct.

Henrik Ibsen's 1879 belief that "a woman cannot be herself in modern society" comes to life in a startlingly contemporary way in this modern staging of one of the most celebrated classics of the theatre canon. Nora and Torvald Helmer believe they are happily married and on the brink of a new phase of life. The unraveling of this secret, and Nora's realization of her own position as a "doll" in her husband's house, rings harrowingly true – as Nora says – to "hundreds of millions of women" today. As he did for Harlequin's 2016 production of Hedda Gabler, director Aaron Lamb will highlight Ibsen's thoroughly modern sensibilities by setting the production in the present day. Of the choice to include A Doll's House in this year's season, Lamb says, "This is the year for A Doll's House.

With everything that has been happening in post #MeToo America, this play speaks to us in a different way than we would have been able to receive it five years ago. While the production is set in the present day or even a few years in the future, Lamb has chosen to keep almost all of the language from the original translation. "Come see how we do that," says Lamb. Aaron Lamb is the Artistic Director of Harlequin Productions. Last season, Lamb directed Three Days of Rain, I Am My Own Wife, Ruthless! In ten seasons as an actor and director with Harlequin he has also directed August: Osage County, Hedda Gabler, Time Stands Still, Middletown, and Five Women Wearing the Same Dress. As an actor, he most recently appeared in the 2018 season, as Gary Essendine in Noel Coward's Present Laughter. Lamb has worked in Seattle for Village Theatre, Taproot Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Seattle Shakespeare Company, and has worked regionally throughout the country. The cast of six stars Jenny Vaughn Hall as Nora (August: Osage County, Time Stands Still, Middletown) and Matt Shimkus* as Torvald (Time Stands Still, A Stardust Homecoming), with Russ Holm (39 Harlequin shows over 20 seasons including August: Osage County and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Marianna de Fazio (The Art of Racing in the Rain, Present Laughter) and Brian S. Lewis (Dry Powder) rounding out the seasoned cast of local and Seattle-based actors. WHAT: Harlequin Productions presents A Doll's House, a startlingly modern take on Henrik Ibsen's classic drama, directed by Aaron Lamb. WHERE: State Theater, 202 4th Ave East, Olympia, WA 98501 – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday-Friday and 2 hours before performances at the Harlequin Box Office in the State Theater. General admission tickets are $35 Senior 60+/Military $32 Rush Tickets (half-hour prior to showtime) General $15; Senior/Military/Student/Under 25 $12 Opening Night: Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. Ladies' Night Out: Friday, May 10, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. Pride Night: Friday, May 17, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. CATEGORY: Classic Drama Jenny Vaugh Hall Nora Helmer Matt Shimkus* Torvald Helmer * Indicates membership in the Actor's Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States. Vancouver's Harlequin Gold Show Off Their Harmonies on "I Was Your Girl" Get your first taste of the group's upcoming EP Sororal Vancouver combo Harlequin Gold are releasing their self-titled debut EP this summer, and Exclaim! After months of blissful bug free living, STD carrying ladybirds are back and they are invading UK homes again. Harlequin ladybirds, have black wings and can have multiple broods throughout the spring and summer. They are rumoured to pass on a "dangerous" sexually-transmitted disease called Laboulbeniales fungal disease. According to the Liverpool ECHO, residents in Woolton have reported seeing an 'invasion' of the foreign insects in their homes and dropping into their food. While there have not been any infestations reported in Cambridgeshire yet, it is only a matter of time before they come out of hiding. According to the Natural History Museum website harlequin ladybirds are mainly found in the south-east of the country but they are slowly making their way north. While they prove no direct threat to humans, they could cause damage to our furniture - and they could pose a threat to our native species. Do the ladybirds carry STDs? Yes - but not in the way you might think. The ladybirds carry a disease called Laboulbeniales which is a form of fungi. It isn't known exactly what effect it has on the bugs but it causes yellow finger-like growths. Scientists say the fungus, which is passed on through mating, will infect our native species, which are already under threat from habitat loss. While they don't yet know if the fungus is harmful, the UK Ladybird Survey says it is possible that the disease affects the lifespan or the number of eggs a female can produce over her lifespan. Laboulbeniales can also occur in other bugs but is a common infection for ladybirds. It is spread through close contact during mating and can also be passed on if the bugs huddle close together. (Image: PA) Can humans catch the STDs? No - the disease can't be passed on to humans. Laboulbeniales is also not harmful to humans. Harlequin ladybirds carrying the disease could greatly affect our native bugs by passing on the fungus. And, as the population of the insects is already dwindling, it could lead to the numbers falling even more. It isn't known exactly how it will affect them but it could be dangerous to their health. The bugs can also leave behind a nasty chemical smell in the home. Why are there so many ladybugs this year? (Image: Pam Igglesden) Swarms of the insects have come from overseas and have been spotted in big groups in homes, gardens and out and about. They are mainly migrating from Asia and North America. Where did they come from? Most Harlequins come from Asia but they are also migrating from North America. Although the species has been in the UK since 2004, the population has recently grown and has become more noticeable. It was first introduced to the USA in 1916 and has rapidly invaded parts of Canada, most of Europe, and a few South American and Southern and North African countries. The harlequin ladybird arrived in the UK in 2004. It was first introduced in Essex, and has since made its way as far as Cornwall and the Shetland Islands. Since being introduced to Russia in 2010, it has expanded its range southwards by 186 miles a year. Are black ladybirds poisonous? (Image: Copyright Unknown) No, black ladybirds aren't poisonous to humans or pets. They are just another colour from the same species. Do ladybirds bite? According to experts, if hungry, the bugs could bite humans. When hungry, harlequin ladybirds will bite humans in their search for something edible. Ladybirds in houses, woken from dormancy by central heating, may bite people as there is no food available. However, there are a few documented cases of people having a severe allergic reaction to harlequin ladybirds. How do you get rid of ladybirds? Experts advise that the best and most humane way to remove them from your home is with a glass and a piece of card. The bugs carry a chemical that, if it touches a surface, could ruin furniture.