Dot Ladybird  Stethorus pusillus

This species has a reputation for being difficult to find but I have been seeing it regularly in my recording area for a few years now. 

Unlike many other species I have not found a reliable site. It is a species that I stumble across unexpectedly in different locations.

I find it in garden wheelie bins, but also by beating evergreen garden shrubs and deciduous trees in the wider countyside.

Identification      Length  1.3-1.5mm

Very tiny, so easy to overlook, but once known it is quite distinctive.

One of several all black species with yellow legs. Sometimes the top part of the legs are black but at least some of the lower leg is yellowish-brown, often paler than the reddish-brown of similar species.

Its extreme small size is immediatly obvious, its length is equal to the width of most other inconspicuous ladybirds.

Silvery hairs on the elytra often catch the light along the sides or form a patch halfway along.

Nazeing, Essex
Chingford, Essex
Exeter, Devon
Exeter, Devon
Dobbs Wier, Lee Valley, Essex
Nazeing, Essex
Nazeing, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Nazeing, Essex
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Sawbridgeworth, Herts
All dark underside
With Red-headed Ladybird
With Red-flanked Ladybird
With one pence coin
dot ladybird
Beaten from ornamental pine tree
Upshire, Essex

Habitat

Unpredictable. Occurs in gardens but can also be found in the wider countryside.

I have found up to ten at a time in garden wheelie bins containing Daylily, Hemerocallis, that I had cut back in September, when it had gone over.

I also find it in wheelie bins containing mixed prunings from evergreen shrubs, although it is not always possible to know which plant species it was associated with.

Mixed prunings containing Dot Ladybird

In gardens I have beaten it from Viburnum tinus, Privet and Larch.

I have twice found it in an Exeter garden, Devon, on Buddleja and Portuguese Laurel.

Privet hedge     Waltham Abbey, Essex

I have also beaten Dot Ladybird from deciduous trees in the wider countryside, including Crack Willow, Hazel and Oak. I have beaten them from oaks on several occasions, occasionally alongside Oak Ladybird.

Small oak in hedgerow amongst willows
       Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex
     Small oak on edge of sunny ride
Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex
Small oak tree      Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex
Small oak tree       Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex
Sheltered sunny ride: a fairly reliable location
                Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex

I have also beaten Dot Ladybird from larch and pine trees in mature gardens.

Ornamental pine tree
           Upshire, Essex

Additional Photographs

With Round-keeled Ladybird
Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex
Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex
Gunpowder Park, Lee Valley, Essex

Copyright Andrew Jewels 2019-2020