One noticeable feature of inconspicuous ladybirds is site fidelity.
Some species can be very difficult to find, with a lot of suitable habitat searched before they are located. However, once found they may then be reliably found in the same very precise location for several seasons.
Oak Ladybird is a good example. I have beaten many oak branches over the years, but between 2015 and 2017 I only ever saw it on one low hanging branch at Fishers Green, Essex. On this branch I found up to 12 adults at a time, plus one larva, between the months of May-Aug. I refound it again in 2019 still in exactly the same spot, although I also found two more locations nearby.
A reliable site for Oak Ladybird Fishers Green, Essex
Over time I have built up a set of locations for a variety of species.
The result of this is it is easier to go and find certain inconspicuous ladybirds at will than it is to find certain common conspicuous species that I see regularly but lack this site fidelity and are more random background finds e.g. Cream-spot, 10-spot and 2-spot Ladybirds.
10-spot Ladybird An unpredictable species
This habit reminds me of some of the rare butterfly species, for example Small Blue and Heath Fritillary. When looking for these species a large area of good looking habitat can be searched before finding a very small patch of habitat that can support good numbers.
Butterflies have been well researched and we now know a lot about the precise ecological conditions that explains this patchy distribution. We currently do not know the same level of detail for the inconspicuous ladybirds.