There is increasing evidence to suggest that the warming of Britain's climate will be accompanied by a corresponding colonisation of Britain by invertebrates previously not known here.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS
) asserts that as the climate warms, a number of pests which have previously been restricted to green-houses will start to spread into the wider environment. There are also signs that a number of continental invertebrates which arrive accidentally or naturally are finding the changing climatic conditions in Britain increasingly to their liking. Max Barclay, curator of beetles at the Natural History Museum, has discovered three colonies of the green vegetable bug (Nezara viridula
) in London: these can be serious pests of soft fruit, potatoes and beans. Although these bugs have been accidentally imported into Britain on many occasions over the last 25 years, only now have they formed viable breeding colonies.
Although the RHS fails to mention it, the upside of all this is that we are also likely to see more exotic non-pest species (e.g. butterflies) arriving and perhaps breeding in Britain in greater numbers than previously.