22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata
Another popular ladybird in many gardens is the species below. It is brightly coloured and has no less than 22 dots! In gardens this is the most harmful ladybird species, for it feeds on mildew, which it is spreading rapidly from infected plants to healthy ones. The larva eats mildew as well, but it is not that devastating, because it can't fly. The 22-spot overwinters as an adult, very often in groups. While overwintering it is regularly found in the garden under flowerpots, loose planks etc. On both the European and Asian continents this is a very common species.
The larva of the 22-spotted Lady Beetle is easily identified: it has the same colouring as the adults: bright yellow with black dots. Whenever you see adults on moulded plants in July or August start looking for the larvae, for they are definitely there as well. When the weather is fine they often do little to hide themselves, frequently walking about on the top side of the plants leaves.
The 22-spot Ladybird is remarkable, for there is a noticable difference between males and females. The neck shields of the females is as yellow as the shields are. In males the neckshield is of a paler colour and often it is even plain white, except for some black spots.
The scientific name is often abbriviated: Psyllobora 22-punctata. The scientific name Thea vigintiduopunctata (or short Thea 22-punctata) is also used regularly.