Oak Ladybird  Scymnus auritus

Other name:  Oak Scymnus

This species is strongly associated with oaks, but can be tricky to locate.

Identification      Length  2.0-2.3mm

A mostly black species with a wide oval shape.

Males have an orangy-red face and front edge to the pronotum, (section behind the head).

The distinctive feature is the red tip to the rear abdomen. This can sometimes be seen protruding beyond the end of the wingcases, otherwise visible when the underside is examined.

Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Fishers Green, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
With Conifer Ladybird
Larva.    Fishers Green, Essex

Habitat

Strongly associated with oaks.

Small oak in pine copse.  Fishers Green, Essex
Small oak amongst willows.  Waltham Abbey, Essex

I have beaten a lot of oak branches without seeing this species, so it can require quite a lot of effort to find.

Prior to 2019 I had only found it on one reliable branch at Fishers Green, Essex.

This small tree produced records during 2015-2017 and 2019, with a maximum of 12 on one day and also one larva. This sort of site fidelity is typical of inconspicuous ladybirds.

In 2019 I found two more sites nearby, both on low branches of small oaks.

In areas with a lot of mature oaks it is quite possible that any Oak Ladybirds would be up high in the canopy in the sunlight, in the same area as Purple Hairstreaks. If this were the case then it would of course put them out of reach.

Copyright Andrew Jewels 2019-2020