Identifying Ladybirds: Resources

Perfect for participants of the North East Ladybird Spot, explore helpful resources to help you identify ladybirds this summer.

There are 46 ladybird species in Britain. Some are brightly coloured and easily recognised as ladybirds: these 26 species are known as ‘conspicuous ladybirds’. The remaining 20 species are small and less brightly coloured and are the ‘inconspicuous ladybirds’.

Many ladybirds can be found without any equipment and searching by eye can be a successful way to observe and identify ladybirds. However, as ladybirds are all less than 10 mm long, it is often helpful to examine them with a hand lens so that the features can be easily seen. Some good places to spot ladybirds include amongst herbaceous vegetation, shrubbery and on trees.

We have produced detailed species profiles for each of the target North East Ladybird Spot species. There are many places where you can find pictures of ladybirds to help you identify the species, but these are our favourites:

Field guides

FSC Guide to Ladybirds of the British Isles

ISBN: 9781851532971, £3.30. Purchase here.

Laminated for outdoor use, this is an eight-page fold-out chart that covers the 26 conspicuous species found in the British Isles.

Field Guide to the Ladybirds of Britain and Ireland

ISBN: 9781472935687 (Paperback), £19.99. Purchase here.

This field guide covers all 46 ladybird species of Great Britain and Ireland. Each species account includes colour images and illustrations, identification features, ecology and distribution maps.

Online resources

The UK Ladybird Survey website

Find out more – https://www.coleoptera.org.uk/coccinellidae/home

The UK Ladybird Survey is a national recording scheme that aims to encourage the recording of all species of ladybird found within the UK. Records submitted towards the North East Ladybird Spot feed into the UK Ladybird Survey via iRecord. On this website you will find lots of information and resources to help you find and identify ladybirds.

The UK Ladybird Survey has downloadable PDF identification sheets for both adults and larvae.

There are also pages for each of the species providing a description with pictures of each of the life stages, a note of the biology and distribution maps.

European Ladybirds App

There is also a mobile App ‘European Ladybirds’ (formerly iRecord Ladybirds), which has species accounts and enables you to record ladybirds on the go. To use the app you need to register with the European Ladybird Survey.

Note that if you make records using the App they will be recorded on iRecord, but will not feed into the North East Ladybird Spot project.

Cumbrian Ladybird ID chart

Produced by the Carlisle Natural History Society and Tullie House Museum, this is a two-page colour guide to ladybird species. This guide provides images and short identification notes to help you identify ladybird species. It also splits up ladybirds by their elytra color to enable you to separate similar-looking species.