The pictures here show three different kinds, which I found this afternoon – all pottering around in the same plant.
The one at the top is a black harlequin – and the one at the bottom right is a red version of the species. They are persona non grata at the moment, having arrived on our shores and swiftly started to take over from one of the more beloved varieties – the seven spot, pictured bottom left.
“The harlequin is an Asian species brought in for pest control, but which has now become a pest itself.” BBC News.
In our garden, I think the native species is winning at the moment – I’ve seen far greater numbers of the seven spot than I have of the harlequins.
If you’re feeling brave, you might like to watch this video on the BBC, which shows some trees absolutely covered in ladybirds – to the point where the trees look like they have red bark. Yikes. This video was where I learnt that the collection noun for ladybirds is a loveliness – a fact I will try to remember in case I ever end up on Mastermind…