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Spotted Marsh Ladybird, Coccidula scutellata, at Gosforth Nature Reserve

This week, I was delighted to record what appears to be the first Spotted Marsh Ladybird recorded in South Northumberland (VC67).

Searching various local wetlands this year for Red Marsh Ladybird and Water Ladybird, one thing that has persisted at the back of my mind had been the possibility of finding the former’s far scarcer cousin: Coccidula scutellata.

A tiny but striking wetland specialist, this little ladybird is fairly common in the South of England but records grow incredibly scarce up North. It is apparently completely absent from Scotland, with only a few records in Cumbria and only one in the North East – a report from Newton Links, North Northumberland, in 1990.

Spotted Marsh Ladybird (Coccidula scutellata), Gosforth Nature Reserve, Newcastle

A small, orange ladybird sporting two distinctive dark spots on the elytra, as far as inconspicuous ladybirds go, this isn’t a hard one to identify. The problem with recording this species seems to be the difficulty associated with finding it. Flag iris (Iris pseudacorus) seems to be a good place to start according to Andrew Jewels and sure enough, this ladybird was swept from the leaves of emergent irises.

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