This is an attractive ladybird with an orange ground colour and 12-16 white spots. It has orange legs. Length up to 6mm.
This ladybird breeds later in the year than most other species as it has to wait for sufficient mildew to grow on trees to feed their developing larvae. They overwinter in crevices in bark or leaf litter. Both the adults and larvae feed on powdery white mildews which grow on deciduous trees.
Seen April to October. Mainly found in woodland, but also urban settings like parks and gardens. Previously an indicator of ancient woodland, its recent move to sycamore and ash trees has caused its numbers to increase and it is common and widespread.
Photograph of Orange Ladybird (Halyzia sedecimguttata), taken June and October 2013, local wood and nature reserve. © Pete Hillman 2013. Camera used Nikon Coolpix P500.
Also referred to as ‘Propylea quatuordecimpunctata’, which is quite a mouthful, this is a small bright yellow ladybird with seven or more or less black rectangular or roundish spots on each elytron. There is a broad black line running along the suture, and in the centre maybe a rectangular spot. It is common to find individuals with fused spots.The legs are brown. Length up to 6mm.
Both the adults and larvae feed on aphids. Most active from May to September. Found in various habitats, but especially where there are trees and shrubs, including hedgerows and gardens. Common and widespread throughout.
Photograph taken of 14-spot Ladybird (Propylea 14-punctata) June 2016, local woodland margin, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
A maroon-coloured beetle with 14 cream coloured spots. The pronotum is maroon with cream markings, and the legs are brown. Length 4 to 5mm.
They feed on aphids and psyllids (plant lice, and are seen April to October.
Found in deciduous woods and hedgerows. Common and widespread throughout Britain, but scarcer further north into Scotland.
Photograph taken of Cream-spot Ladybird (Calvia quattuordecimguttata) May 2014, local woodland margin, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.
… to become an adult.
This is the brightly coloured pupa casing of the Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis). I found it glued to the underneath of a fern in my back garden. Notice the black and white remains of shed spiky larval skin at the base of the pupa.
This can be quite a variable ladybird, with the typical form having 2 black spots on bright red elytra, as in the above photograph. Other forms have black elytra with 2, 4 or 6 red spots. They are fairly small, growing up to 6mm long.
It is a very fierce predator of aphids.
Found all year round, and in the winter months it maybe found hibernating in sheltered crevices of bark or in outbuildings like garden sheds. It is most active March to November. Seen in most habitats, including hedgerows and gardens. An abundant and widespread species throughout Great Britain.
Photograph taken May 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire.
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.