These insects can be a confusing bunch but thankfully, there are lots of fantastic websites sharing more about ladybird identification and ecology.
Help with ladybird identification
A registered charity set up to encourage wildlife recording within Leicestershire and Rutland, NatureSpot is a phenomenal resource when it comes to identifying a wide range of wildlife, including ladybirds. Their website currently displays photographic accounts for thousands of species alongside useful information, facts and identification tips.
Not a UK example but an incredible resource for ladybird recorders. While somewhat broader in scope than just ladybirds, their guide to elytral colour patterns in ladybirds is fantastic and provides the most comprehensive guide I have seen anywhere when t comes to ladybird variability. It is especially useful for those who like to use photos to identify their finds and covers pretty much all of the species you’re likely to encounter.
Authored by Helen Roy and Peter Brown (2018), this lovely little book covers all of the ladybirds like to be encountered in the UK and as you might expect, is a valuable resource when it comes to finding, studying and identifying these colourful insects. Jampacked with useful tips and background information, it is essential the ‘ladybird bible’ and certainly something everyone should have in their collection.
Andrew Jewels’ superb website focuses on Britain’s inconspicuous ladybirds and is pretty much the only comprehensive online resource for identifying these tricky little insects. With species accounts for all British species, helpful comparisons and no end of illustrative photography, it is certainly the most helpful site out there when it comes to this particular group.
More on UK ladybirds
The official website of Britain’s ladybird recording scheme is, as you might expect, a great place to learn about the UK’s ladybird species. With species accounts and up-to-date maps for all resident species (albeit some in different stages of completion), it makes for a great resource. You’ll also find information on recording ladybirds, as well as helpful articles and links to notable papers on the subject.
Running for a few years now, the Natural History Society of Northumbria’s North East Ladybird Spot is a citizen science project encouraging the recording of ladybirds in North East England. Alongside species profiles, you’ll also find a range of helpful articles, guides and videos associated with ladybirds.
An online community for people across the UK utterly obsessed with ladybirds, what’s not to like? In all seriousness though, this group is a fantastic place to share your discoveries, ask for help, meet like-minded recorders and (my personal favourite) keep tabs on what others have been finding across the country.
A podcast all about ladybirds! Hosted by ladybird enthusiast, Rachael Horwitz, this detailed and often quite enjoyable podcast covers just about everything to do with ladybirds. Identification and recording sure, but you’ll also hear about broader issues to do with ladybird conservation and much, much more.