Big, bright and often rather beautiful, these conspicuous ladybirds look as they should… like ladybirds in a textbook.
The UK is home to some 46 ladybird species – more if you consider those likely to turn up accidentally from time to time. Of the 46 species encountered most often in the UK, 26 are what is known as ‘conspicuous ladybirds’.
What exactly is a conspicuous ladybird? Well, it looks like a ladybird. Or at least the stereotypical depiction of one! By large, Britain’s conspicuous ladybirds are brightly coloured and boast the tell-tale spots associated with ladybirds, while generally being somewhat larger than our inconspicuous ladybirds.
Of the UK’s 26 conspicuous ladybird species, I have recorded 21 here in the North East. The profiles below introduce the species I have chanced upon so far and the maps included within represent my sightings alone. As I encounter new species and visit new sites, I’ll look to update these pages in the future.
A fantastic little ladybird commonly encountered on Bulrush, Yellow Iris and other wetland plants.
An elusive grassland ladybird which is surprisingly hard to come by across the North East.
A striking little ladybird which, in quite the contrast to its aphid-feeding cousins, feeds on powdery mildew.
Perhaps the North East’s rarest or at least most overlooked conspicuous ladybird.
An elusive yet beautiful ladybird of coniferous woodland and planted landscapes rich in pine species.
An unassuming brown ladybird found around larch, pine and non-native conifers.
An elusive but beautiful ladybird associated with a wide range of dry, sandy habitats.
An attractive ladybird found exclusively on conifers but with a preference for Scots Pine.