The North East Ladybird Spot in 2022

As a new year approaches, NHSN Senior Naturalist, James Common, takes a closer look at your finds and shares the results of the 2022 North East Ladybird Spot

From the Northumberland coast to the hills of the Durham dales, you did an incredible job finding and recording ladybirds in 2022. Thanks to you, we now know more about North East ladybirds than ever before and day by day, your sightings continue to reveal new information about the distribution and ecology of these colourful insects in our region.

With 2023 soon to be upon us, now seems like the perfect time to look back at another successful year for the North East Ladybird Spot and explore your exciting discoveries and surprising finds over the last twelve months.

Feeling inspired? Remember, the North East Ladybird Spot continues in 2023. Taking part is simple and everyone can help.

7-Spot Ladybird © David Jarema

A look at the numbers

In total, 117 local recorders shared 2,350 records as part of the North East Ladybird Spot this year.

Unsurprisingly, your most spotted species was the familiar 7-Spot Ladybird with 518 sightings. You also shared 411 sightings of the Harlequin Ladybird and 172 sightings of the declining 2-spot Ladybird.

At the other end of the spectrum, you did a fantastic job recording a host of scarce species too with 25 records of Adonis’ Ladybird and 47 sightings of Water Ladybirds to name just two.

18-Spot Ladybird © Joe Dobinson

Notable discoveries

Together, you made lots of noteworthy discoveries in 2022.

Formerly very poorly recorded, the specialist 18-spot Ladybird was discovered at 12 new sites and Heather Ladybird was encountered for the first time in Northumberland since the 1980s.

In Tyneside, Cream-streaked Ladybird, a new species to the UK, was spotted for the first time in South Northumberland, and you spotted the rare Hieroglyphic Ladybird in County Durham – one of only two records as part of the project so far!

Red Marsh Ladybird © Chris Barlow

The small but mighty

Your discoveries did not stop at the North East’s large and obvious ladybirds. This year, you encountered many of our inconspicuous ladybirds too!

In Tyneside, Epaulet Ladybird was found for the first time in the North East and the elusive Spotted Marsh Ladybird was observedat Gosforth Nature Reserve.

Elsewhere, you shared lots of sightings of Pine Scymnus and Meadow Ladybird and added what is only the second regional record of Black Scymnus.

With many more species out there to find, what will you encounter in 2023?

NHSN Members on a ‘Ladybirds and Orchids’ walk at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

Shared experiences

In 2022, local naturalists came together for a fantastic range of trips and events. In total, ladybirds were enjoyed at three invertebrate bioblitzes, ten dedicated walks and surveys, and even a special online event.

Together, you visited Newbiggin on the coast and Hepple inland, explored urban ladybirds in Jesmond and Walker, and as part of a special survey, visited a host of cemeteries across County Durham and Northumberland.

With new courses and events planned for 2023, and more opportunities on the horizon, there’ll be lots more to come next year.

24-Spot Ladybirds © James Common

Spreading the word

This year, news of the North East Ladybird Spot traveled further than ever before and your sightings, photos, and articles inspired people across the length and breadth of Britain.

In total, online resources about ladybirds were visited over 20,000 times and a host of new videos were watched on 4,000 occasions.

Your discoveries were also published in British Wildlife by the UK Ladybird Survey.

Join the North East Ladybird Spot ›

You can help monitor and protect the North East’s ladybirds.

Shared with national experts, your sightings help inform conservation efforts for these important beetles.

Join the North East Ladybird Spot today to make a difference for these colourful insects. Taking part is fun, easy, and makes a real difference.

Get involved ›

22-spot Ladybird © David Jarema
James Common
NHSN Senior Naturalist

James is a local naturalist passionate about plants and insects. He works as NHSN’s Senior Naturalist and volunteers as co-coordinator of our Botany Specialist Group. Elsewhere, he is a botanical Vice-County Recorder for North Northumberland and verifier for the UK Ladybird Survey. He keeps a blog at Common by Nature.