False-spot Ladybird  Hyperaspis pseudopustulata

Other name: False-spotted Ladybird

This is a difficult species to find, that occurs in two distinct habitats, grassland and wetlands.

I have only seen one, found by Mark Hows, when we made a speculative visit to Canvey Wick, Essex. This excellent reserve also produced an Ant-nest Ladybird on the same visit.

Identification          Length  3.0-4.0mm

Distinctive when seen well but very easy to overlook as at first glance looks like many other species of shiny black oval beetles.

Unlike other inconspicuous ladybirds, it is hairless.

Two red spots on the rear of the wing cases and red cheeks, ( the outer edge of the pronotum).

The one I photographed showed a black face with a yellow stripe running along the front of the pronotum.

A photograph by Richard Comont in the Atlas (2011) shows a red face and leading edge to the pronotum, whilst this area is all black in the illustration by Richard Lewington in The Fieldguide (2018). This is obviously a variable feature. There are very few published photos of live UK specimens.

Mark and I only managed a couple of photographs each, before our specimen suddenly flew.

Canvey Wick, Essex
Canvey Wick, Essex

Habitat

Seems to have two distinct habitats: grassland, both coastal and downland; also wetland habitats, including reedbeds.

Copyright Andrew Jewels 2019-2020