I discovered the typical form (seen above and directly below) of this species of ladybird on my crab apple tree about two years ago. This morning I discovered f. decempustulatus on the same tree, which has a chequered look about it. No doubt it has been feasting on the aphids clustered on the shoots.
This is the most variable of Great Britain’s ladybirds in terms of colour pattern, and it does not always have 10 spots. In its typical form it can be yellow, orange or red in overall colour, but there are also chequered forms and melanic forms with even more colour variations. It can have 0-15 black or dark brown spots. The pronotum is white with 5 dark spots, which may be fused. The legs are brown. Length 3.5 to 4.5mm.
They feed on aphids, and are seen March to October. Found in a variety of habitats, but mainly in hedgerows, deciduous woodland, parks and gardens. Common and widespread throughout Britain.
Photographs taken May 2014 and July 2016, on crab apple, rear garden, Staffordshire.