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.

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

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

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

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

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Viburnum tinus.  Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Ivy covered fence.  Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Ivy covered fence     Exeter, Devon
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Euonymus.  Upshire, Essex
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Euonymus.    Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Firethorn in supermarket utility planting
                            Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Firethorn in supermarket utility planting
                           Waltham Abbey, Essex
Can also be found in deciduous trees and shrubs, including Oak and Wiegela.
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Oak tree.  Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent
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Wiegela.   Upshire, Essex
Red-flanked Ladybird can also be found in low herbage, including Lamb's-ear and Black Horehound.
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Black Horehound        Upshire, North Essex

Additional Photographs

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With Red Spider Mite
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With Flea Beetle
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Nazeing, Essex
scymnus interruptus minorca_0798.JPG
Minorca, Spain
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Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Upshire, Essex
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Upshire, Essex
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Upshire, Essex
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Upshire, Essex
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Waltham Abbey, Essex
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Exeter, Devon
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Upshire, Essex
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Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, South Essex
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Upshire, North Essex
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Upshire, North Essex
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Upshire, North Essex