Bute’s ladybirds – a checklist

Ladybirds are attractive and familiar insects, easy to observe and less threatening in appearance than most other beetles.  An additional point in their favour, especially for gardeners, is that the adults and larvae of most species feed on aphids (greenfly and whitefly). One exception is the Orange ladybird that feeds mainly on mildew, especially that on Sycamore leaves, though it will also take small aphids.

 Ladybirds belong to the beetle family Coccinellidae.  There are forty-six species of this family resident in Britain, but not all are readily recognisable as ladybirds. Most have common names referring to the number or colour of their spots. However, simply counting the spots is not a reliable way of identifying species. The majority of species have a considerable range of variation in number of spots, it is common for spots to merge into one another, and many species have melanistic (blackish) forms.  Nonetheless, ladybirds are not too difficult to identify.

Order Coleoptera (beetles)

Family Coccinellidae (ladybirds)

Sub-family Coccinellinae

10-spot ladybird                 Adalia 10-punctata

2-spot ladybird                   Adalia 2-punctata

Eyed ladybird                      Anatis ocellata

Larch ladybird                     Aphidecta obliterate

Cream-spot ladybird          Calvia 14-guttata

7-spot ladybird                    Coccinella 7-punctata

Hieroglyphic ladybird        Coccinella hieroglyphica

Orange ladybird                  Halyzia 16-guttata

Sub-family Epilachninae

24-spot ladybird                 Subcoccinella 24-punctata

Sources

Collis, G & Collis, D. (2008).  Ladybirds of Bute. Transactions of the Buteshire Natural History Society 27, 91. pdf

Plus subsequent additional records

Internet resources

Survey scheme and information about British ladybirds

Further reading

Roy, H.E., Brown, P.M.J.,Frost, R. & Poland, R.L. (2011). The Ladybirds (Coccinellidae) of Britain and Ireland. Preston Montford: Field Studies Council.

Roy, H.E., Brown, P.M.J., Comont, R.F. Poland, R.L. & Sloggett, J.J. (2013) Ladybirds (Naturalists’ Handbooks 10). Exeter: Pelagic Books. (This is a revised version of the 1989 book of the same title by Majerus & Kearns.)

Last updated May 2013