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LOVELY LADYBIRDS

seven smaller ladybirds in a circle

These are a set of seven smaller wearable-on-the-head models which were made to show the diversity within one family of insect.

There are over 40 species of ladybird native to the UK but so far I have stopped at seven.

Common ladybirds

2 spot ladybird Photo copyright Roger Key

7 spot –Cochinella septempunctata 

Our most common ladybird eats approx 5,000 aphids in its one year of life                                          
2 spot –Adalia bipunctata (sometimes black with red spots)

Also very common, likes to hibernate in large groups, sometimes around window frames

14 spot-Propylea quattuordecimpunctata (yellow with spots often joined together)

Likes blackthorn, willow and nettles, has brown legs


Not quite so common

22 spot ladybird Photo copyright Roger Key

22 spot- Psyllobora 22 punctata (yellow)

Actually has 27 spots, feeds on mildew

Orange- Halyzia 16-guttata (orange with white spots)

Also feeds on mildew, often flies at night

Larch - Aphidecta obliterata (brown)

Doesn't look a lot like a ladybird-NO SPOTS!

Pine- Exochomus quadripustulatus (black with red spots)

When the ladybirds are hired out, a “master interview” is provided which entails the teacher/groupleader interviewing each of the seven ladybirds in turn.

The package also includes:

  • Factsheets and real life photos for each individual species
  • A set of ladybird clues to be used as a quiz
  • Resources to run a ladybird  “Find the Spots” hunt

The Spot Hunt

This consists of 

  • Pairs of 9 species of handpainted wooden ladybirds-on-sticks to be “planted” in an outdoor area.
  • A set of laminated ladybird ID charts
  • A photocopiable “Find the Spots” sheet

Participants hunt for and discover the ladybirds, identify them using the ID chart and record the number of spots, totalling them at the end.

There are also ten reasons to love your nettles – nettle aphids being an important source of food for ladybirds in early spring – and ideas for how to make a ladybird happy.

For more information about ladybirds (or any other insects) and a wealth of excellent downloadable resources about how to attract beneficial insects, how to provide them a safe haven and loads more, visit www.buglife.org.ukBuglife is the Invertebrate Conservation Trust. 

ladybirds in the grass

Dolau primary school with ladybirds

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