Gallery - Ladybirds
Ladybirds are small insects, ranging from 1 mm to 10 mm (0.04 to 0.4 inches), and are commonly yellow, orange, or scarlet with small black spots on their wing covers, with black legs, head and antennae. A very large number of Ladybird species are mostly, or entirely, black, grey, or brown and may be difficult for non-entomologists to recognize as Ladybirds. Conversely, there are many small beetles that are easily mistaken for coccinellids, such as the tortoise beetles.
Ladybirds are found worldwide, with over 5,000 species described, more than 450 native to North America alone with 46 in the UK.
A few species are considered pests in North America and Europe, but they are generally considered useful insects as many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens, agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places. Harmonia axyridis (or the Harlequin ladybug) was introduced into North America from Asia in 1988 to control aphids but is now the most common species as it is out-competing many of the native species. It has since spread to much of western Europe, reaching the UK in 2004.
Unsure of which species that these belong to?
The 2-spot Ladybird is a very common species in Britain and has variable markings but normally shows two conspicuous black spots on red wing-cases. Occasionally the pattern is reversed to give red spots on black wing-cases. The legs are black.
5-8mm.famed for its aphid eating habits in both lava and adult stages, this is one of the commonest ladybirds found on a wide variety of plants for much of the year. It goes into hibernation in autumn, often in huge colonies.
Very variable ladybird but has yellow legs.
There are some 43 different ladybird species to be found in the UK. At only 4mm in length, this common ladybird is only about half the size of the more familiar 7 spot ladybird.
Its markings and colouring can be quite variable.
The cream-spot ladybird,is a species of ladybird found in Ireland and the United Kingdom. They are generally 4 to 5 millimetres (0.16 to 0.20 in) in size and are maroon-brown, often with fourteen cream spots.
Arrived in Britain in the 1930s, first recorded in Suffolk. Has spread south, west and north and has reached Wales and Scotland. Often rests head-down on pine buds where it is very well camouflaged.
The Harlequin ladybird is a native of eastern Asia, but due to its appetite for aphids and other invertebrates it has been introduced to many other countries as a biological control agent. In the 1980s it was introduced to North America to control insects on crops and it has since become the most widespread ladybird across the continent. It has spread rapidly across north-western Europe and arrived in Britain in 2004, where it has since successfully established itself throughout England
Black body with two large red spots on each wing casing. The antennae and underside are orange. The wing casings have a distinctly flattened flange all the way round.
Found around deciduous woods and often caught in moth traps
© Simon Thurgood 2017
Images on this website may not be put as any part of any collection without any prior written permission.