Wednesday 11 January 2012


2011 was a particularly good year for Seven Spot Ladybirds, I don't think I've ever seen so many. But I also spotted quite a few other species of ladybird this year, including the Harlequin Ladybird. This species only arrived in the UK in 2004 but has already spread throughout much of England though it remains rare in Wales and Scotland. Unfortunately it poses a significant threat to our native ladybirds as it feeds upon small insects and eggs, including the larvae and eggs of other ladybirds. Its variable patterning can make it difficult to ID but its large size often gives it away.

Below are some examples of the various ladybirds that I photographed in 2011.


A Harlequin Ladybird on a Hollyhock flower. This is probably the most common Harlequin colour and pattern

This one below is also a Harlequin and is another common variety

This is a Cream Spot Ladybird

while this is a Fourteen Spot Ladybird

This one isn't a great shot but is a Ten Spot Ladybird, these are very variable in terms of patterns and can be mistaken for Harlequins, by me anyway

Here's a tiny Two-Spot Ladybird, much smaller than the similarly coloured Seven Spot

and finally, a good old Seven Spot Ladybird, here eating an aphid. The Seven Spot is still our most common Ladybird, but perhaps not for much longer given the rapid spread of the Harlequin

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