Small, fuzzy and often spotless, Britain’s inconspicuous ladybirds may not be the most beautiful bunch but they are extremely interesting.
The UK is home to some 46 ladybird species – more if you consider those likely to turn up by accident from time to time. Of the 46 species likely to be encountered here, 20 are what is known as ‘inconspicuous ladybirds’.
What exactly is an inconspicuous ladybird? Good question! Essentially, it is a ladybird that doesn’t look much like a traditional ladybird at all! Usually, inconspicuous ladybirds are rather small and dull, lacking the vivid patterns of their larger cousins. For the most part, at least – some, like Rhyzobius chrysomeloides are actually rather handsome.
Of the UK’s 20 inconspicuous ladybirds, I have recorded only a handful 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 accordingly.
A striking little ladybird associated with conifers and other evergreen plants.
A common yet overlooked little ladybird associated with grassland and rank vegetation.
A tiny black and brown ladybird found on conifers but with a special affinity for native Scots Pine.