PIKE Peering underwater may not be the first activity you think of when watching wildlife in January. But this is actually a good month in which to spot a Pike loitering well below the surface. Look for its ominous shape, streamlined and ‘snouty’, in standing and slowflowing freshwaters. As befits an ambush hunter, this fish is solitary and typically secretes itself amidst aquatic vegetation. INVERTEBRATE
HARLEQUIN LADYBIRD So widespread and abundant is the Harlequin Ladybird in Britain, that it is hard to imagine that it was unknown in Britain as recently as 2003. A native of Asia, this beetle reached Europe following its introduction to North America in the 1980s for the purpose of controlling aphids. Look for groups hibernating inside dark buildings such as sheds. And do so with mixed emotions: admiration at this species’s phenomenal success and concern at the impact of it outcompeting our native ladybirds. INVERTEBRATE
WHITE-SHOULDERED HOUSE MOTH Out in the ‘wild’, White-shouldered House Moth breeds repeatedly between March and November. Within the shelter and warmth of human habitation, however, this ‘micro-moth’ has no such constraints and is active all year. This denizen of our homes is the length of your little fingernail and one-fifth of its width.