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Conspicuous Ladybirds

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.

Water Ladybird

Anisosticta novemdecimpunctata

A fantastic little ladybird commonly encountered on Bulrush, Yellow Iris and other wetland plants.

24-Spot Ladybird

Subcoccinella vigintiquattuorpunctata

An elusive grassland ladybird which is surprisingly hard to come by across the North East.

22-Spot Ladybird

Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata

A striking little ladybird which, in quite the contrast to its aphid-feeding cousins, feeds on powdery mildew.

Heather Ladybird

Chilocorus bipustulatus

Perhaps the North East’s rarest or at least most overlooked conspicuous ladybird.

Striped Ladybird

Myzia oblongoguttata

An elusive yet beautiful ladybird of coniferous woodland and planted landscapes rich in pine species.

Larch Ladybird

Aphidecta obliterata

An unassuming brown ladybird found around larch, pine and non-native conifers.

Adonis’ Ladybird

Hippodamia variegata

An elusive but beautiful ladybird associated with a wide range of dry, sandy habitats.

18-Spot Ladybird

Myrrha octodecimguttata

An attractive ladybird found exclusively on conifers but with a preference for Scots Pine.

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