Angle-spot Ladybird     Scymnus frontalis

Other names: Angle-spotted Ladybird, Angle-spotted Scymnus

This is an occasionally common species of semi-natural grassland, best found with a sweep net.

Identification          Length  2.6-3.2mm

This is a black species with a red spot on the front of each wingcase. The red spots are angled towards the outer edge but do not reach the edge, unlike on Red-flanked Ladybird.

Angle-spot is a large and elongate species compared to similar inconspicuous species.

A distinctive feature is seen on the underside, the metasternum has a groove along the middle, a feature only shared with Schmidt's Ladybird.

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Fen Drayton, Cambs
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Fen Drayton, Cambs
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Groove along centre of metasternum
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Filsham Reedbeds, Sussex
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Filsham Reedbeds, Sussex
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Filsham Reedbed, Sussex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex

Angle-spot Ladybirds either have black or red faces. 

On some photographs a few appear to have white faces and these could be confused with Ant-nest Ladybird. These are probably black faced individuals, with the white hairs catching the light.

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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Photo by Mark Hows
Little Belhus Country Park, Essex

Mixed Photographs

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With 16-spot Ladybird
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With 16-spots and a Meadow Ladybird
In sweep net sorting tray
Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex

Habitat

Although this is often reported to be a common species I was unable to find it in my recording area until 2020. I realised that this was due to my area consisting of gardens, brown field sites and semi-natural grassland on clay soils.

The trick to finding this species is to search grasslands on chalk or sandy soils, including downland, sand dunes and coastal grassland. Mark Hows regually finds this species in The Brecks.

When I finally found some in the Lee Valley, they were in a small patch of habitat that also contained Red-rumped and Red-patched Ladybirds. They were in a dried up damp flush in an area of dry sparse grassland on a sandy soil. I had previously overlooked this area as unpromising.

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Photo by Mark Hows
Ramparts Field, The Brecks, Suffolk
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Dried up damp flush in area of dry sandy soil
                    Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex

Additional photographs

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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
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Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex