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Ladybirds (Coccinellidae)

Lady Birds (or Lady Beetles, sometimes even called Lady Bugs) are beetles which are very easy to identify: small, round bodies and usually red with black spots or the other way around. Perhaps they are the insects most people like best. Who hasn't been playing with these creatures being a child? Just put one on your hand, point upwards and the little creature, trying to find the highest point, will be running to the top of your vinger, where it will expose its wings and fly off. There are many more species in this family than most people realize. Most species can be identified by counting the dots on the shields. Those dots do not tell you what age the animal is (usually they live for just one year or shorter), but are good clues for naming the species. However one should be very careful, for there are a few species which are extremely variable. One of the most common species, the Two-spotted Lady Beetle, for instance is red with two black dots in its typical outfit. But some have more than just two black dots and the black dots can even be connecting, thus looking like dark stripes, hooks or lines. On the other hand the basic colour may be black instead of red. Some have two black dots on the red shields, but others might have four or even six black dots! Ladybirds all have colours to warn off predators. Colours like combinations of red and black or yellow and black are typical warning colours, just like in let's say wasps. And it works, for you will never see a bird eating a Ladybeetle, for they have a very bad taste and are slightly poisonous.


photograph Seven-spotted Lady Beetle
Seven-spotted Lady Beetle Coccinella septempunctata

The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is easily identified, for usually it really does have 7 spots. more...


photograph Two-spotted Ladybird
Two-spotted Ladybird Adalia bipunctata

The Two-spotted Ladybird is not always easily identified, for it is a very variable species. more...


photograph 10-spotted Ladybird
10-spotted Ladybird Adalia decempunctata

The 10-spotted Ladybird is highly variable, except for the neck shield. more...


photograph 10-spotted Ladybird
10-spotted Ladybird Adalia decempunctata

This is a 10-spotted Ladybird as well, even though it appears to be off colour and with less than 10 spots. more...


photograph 10-spotted Ladybird
10-spotted Ladybird Adalia decempunctata

The larva of the 10-spotted Ladybird is a keen hunter for plant-lice, aphids and such. more...


photograph 10-spotted Ladybird
Pine Ladybird Exochomus quadripustulatus

The Pine Ladybird is easily identified by the curled edges of the shields. more...


photograph 10-spotted Ladybird
Pine Ladybird Exochomus quadripustulatus

The Pine Ladybird usually is black, but may be brown or even yellow as well. more...


photograph Cream Spotted Lady Beetle
Cream Spotted Lady Beetle Calvia quatuordecimguttata

The Cream Spotted Lady Beetle is a beautiful brownish red species. more...


photograph Orange Ladybird
Calvia decemguttata

Calvia decemguttata is another orange ladybird, but it is not a British species. It has 10 creamy spots only. more...


photograph Oenopia conglobata
Oenopia conglobata

Usually Oenopia conglobata is pink with blob like spots. I too is not a British species.more...


photograph Fourteen Spot Ladybird
Fourteen Spot Ladybird Propylea quatuordecimpunctata

This is the dark variety of the Fourteen Spot Ladybird, or 14-spot Ladybird. more...


photograph Fourteen Spot Ladybird
Fourteen Spot Ladybird Propylea quatuordecimpunctata

The Fourteen Spot Ladybird may also look like this. more...


photograph Fourteen Spot Ladybird
Fourteen Spot Ladybird, larva Propylea quatuordecimpunctata

But the larva of the Fourteen Spot Ladybird is black with some white lines. more...


photograph Harlequin Ladybird
Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis

The big question is whether we should be happy about the arrival of the Harlequin Ladybird. more...


photograph Harlequin Ladybird
Harlequin Ladybird, larva Harmonia axyridis, larva

The larva prefers to eat aphids, preferably a lot of them!. more...


photograph Orange Ladybird
Orange Ladybird Halyzia sedecimguttata

The Orange Ladybird eats aphids only occasionally, for it prefers mildew. more...


photograph 22-spot ladybird
22-spot ladybird, male Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata, m

The 22-spot ladybird is one of the very few species of ladybirds you do not want in your garden. The male's neck shield is white. more...


photograph 22-spot ladybird
22-spot ladybird, female Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata, f

The female of the 22-spot ladybird has a yellow neck shield. more...


photograph 22-spot ladybird
22-spot ladybird, larva Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata, larva

The larva of the 22-spot ladybird is just as yellow as the adults. more...


photograph larch ladybird
Larch Ladybird Aphidecta obliterata

The Larch Ladybird is fond of woolly aphids. more...


photograph 24-spot ladybird
24-spot ladybird Subcoccinella vigintiquattuorpunctata

One of the very few vegetarian ladybirds: the 24-spotted ladybird. more...


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This page has last been modified on Wednesday, November 07, 2018.
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