Conifer Ladybird  Scymnus suturalis

Other name: Pine Scymnus

A locally abundant and easy to find pine specialist.

Identification       Length  1.5-2.0mm

A small and narrow species, one of the least ladybird like of the inconspicuous species.

Usually a dark dull chestnut colour, though sometimes paler and brighter.

Dark line running along centre of wingcases lacking contrast with the background colour in most cases (in contrast to pale form of Red-flanked Ladybird).

However some paler individuals do show more contrast and occasionally central line almost absent.

Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
Upshire, Essex
Upshire, Essex
Thundridge, Herts
Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk

The underside is distinctive as it is all black, including the underside edge of each wingcase (epipeuron).

Upshire, Essex
Thundridge, Herts
Nazeing, Essex
Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
With Pine Ladybird
With Harlequin Ladybirds
Habitat

This can be one of the most abundant species once a good piece of habitat has been found.

It is a pine specialist.

It can be found on the low branches of pine plantations, especially along the edges of sunny rides.

One of the best places to search can be on small scattered pine trees in open heathland habitat. It is not unusual to find double figures in one tree in these circumstances.

Pines on heathland
Chobham Common, Surrey
Scattered pines
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Plantation Edge
Warren Hill, The Brecks, Suffolk
Pine copse
Fishers Green, Lee Valley, Essex
Pine copse                             Upshire, Essex

I occasionally find this species in gardens, including in garden wheelie bins with mixed shrub prunings, although it is never common in this habitat.

Additional photographs

Upshire, Essex
Upshire, Essex

Copyright Andrew Jewels 2019-2020