Red-flanked Ladybird   Scymnus interruptus

Other name: Red-flanked Scymnus

This is a common garden specialist that is difficult to find in open countryside. 

I regularly find it in garden wheelie bins containing prunings from evergreen shrubs, but they can also be found by beating ornamental garden shrubs.

The typical form is black with a red triangle on each wing case.

The light form has the reddish brown colour extending over most of the wing case.

All forms have reddish legs and antennae.

Red-flanked Ladybirds are probably sexually dimorphic, with most females having an all black face and pronotum, whilst most males have a red face and pronotum sides, although the intensity of the markings vary.

Identification        Length  1.5-2.2mm

Typical form       (About 90% of my records)

Very distinctive. Black with a red triangle on each wing case.

Diagnostically these reach the side of the wing case and even extend to the underside edge (the epipleuron).

The size of the red triangle is variable.

Broxbourne, Herts
Chingford, Essex
Chingford, Essex
Thundridge, Herts
Exeter, Devon
Exeter, Devon
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Underside showing red epipleuron
Showing small size
With 2-spot Ladybird
With 22-spot Ladybird
With Forestier's Ladybird
red flanked ladybird
Upshire, Essex

Light form      (About 10% of my records)

These have the reddish brown colour covering most of the wing case, except for a dark central line extending from a dark area behind the pronotum and are confusable with Conifer Ladybird.

Red-flanked Ladybird is a wider robust species, compared to the narrower Conifer Ladybird.

The red epipleuron is still the diagnostic feature to look for.

Thundridge, Herts
Upshire, Essex
Nazeing, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Nazeing, Essex
Minorca, Spain
Upshire, Essex
Diagnostic red epipleuron
With Harlequin Ladybird
With Round-keeled Ladybird
Intermediate Form

A small number are intermediate between the two forms, with an almost continuous range of variation.

Minorca, Spain
Upshire, Essex
Chingford, Essex
Chingford, Essex
Upshire, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Variation and Forms

Habitat

Can be common in garden evergreen shrubs, especially Euonymus, Privet, Viburnum tinus, Firethorn and Ivy.

One of the restrictions on recording this species is gaining access to private gardens. Many of my records are due to the fact that I work as a gardener.

It is likely to occur in ornamental planting in parks, car parks and other public spaces.

I have found it by eye on an ivy covered fence outside Loughton Underground Station, Essex and on Firethorn in supermarket utility planting in Waltham Abbey, Essex.

Viburnum tinus.  Waltham Abbey, Essex
Ivy covered fence.  Waltham Abbey, Essex
Ivy covered fence     Exeter, Devon
Euonymus.  Upshire, Essex
Euonymus.    Waltham Abbey, Essex
Firethorn in supermarket utility planting
                            Waltham Abbey, Essex
Firethorn in supermarket utility planting
                           Waltham Abbey, Essex
Can also be found in deciduous trees and shrubs, including Oak and Wiegela.
Oak tree.  Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Wiegela.   Upshire, Essex

Additional Photographs

With Red Spider Mite
With Flea Beetle
Nazeing, Essex
Minorca, Spain
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Upshire, Essex
Upshire, Essex
Upshire, Essex
Upshire, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Exeter, Devon

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