Ivy Ladybird  Nephus quadrimaculatus

Other names:  4-spot Ladybird, Four-spotted Nephus

A common species that can be abundant on Ivy.

Identification     Length  1.5-2.0mm

Easy to identify, with very little variation.

A black species with four red comma shaped marks (two on each wing case).

The forward patches are larger than the rear ones.

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Waltham Abbey, North Essex
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Waltham Abbey, North Essex
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Waltham Abbey, North Essex
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Waltham Abbey, North Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, North Essex
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Waltham Abbey, North Essex
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Photo by Mark Hows
Royal Tunbridge Wells, West Kent
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Upshire, North Essex

The underside is all dark.

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Upshire, North Essex
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Thundridge, Hertfordshire

Often occurs with Red-flanked Ladybird and both look similar to the naked eye.

The small rear spots can be difficult to see without magnification, (use an eye lens or digital camera).

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With Red-flanked Ladybird
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With Epaulet Ladybird
Upshire, North Essex


Strongly associated with Ivy, though I have also found it on Firethorn, Pyracantha.

Like many inconspicuous ladybirds its distribution is patchy. I have beaten a lot of Ivy without seeing this species, but when found it can be abundant and often shows strong site fidelity.

My best site to see this species was in a garden I no longer have access to. This was on a south facing Ivy covered fence at the end of a medium sized suburban garden.

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Ivy covered fence.  Waltham Abbey, North Essex
Ivy covered wall.  Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, South Essex
Ivy covered tree trunk.    Holyfield Lake, Lee Valley, North Essex
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Ivy covered tree trunk    Marshgate Spring NR, Harlow, North Essex
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Ivy covered tree trunk.   Fishers Green, Lee Valley, North Essex
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Ivy covered tree trunk                                                            Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, North Essex
Ivy covered tree trunks       Rushy Mead, Lee Valley, North Essex
Ivy covered wall       Epping, North Essex
Ivy on edge of car park         Epping, North Essex
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Firethorn       Upshire, North Essex

This seems to be a warmth loving species, as it favours a sunny aspect, so searching south facing walls and fences with a good covering of Ivy should prove productive.

Can be found by eye by careful searching
Waltham Abbey, North Essex
Found by eye in community garden
Epping, North Essex

Additional photographs

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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, North Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, North Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, North Essex
Greater Amwell, Hertfordshire
Thundridge, Hertfordshire
Waltham Abbey, North Essex
Upshire, North Essex
Epping, North Essex
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Upshire, North Essex
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Rushy Mead, Lee Valley, North Essex
Upshire, North Essex
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Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, North Essex
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Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, North Essex
Upshire, North Essex
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Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, North Essex