Sat 07/07/2018

Dwarf ladybird, possibly Nephus redtenbacheri
Dwarf ladybird, possibly Nephus redtenbacheri

I am finding quite a number of tiny ladybirds these days, either in the kitchen or the conservatory. They are quite active and difficult to photograph, and so small that until I get a decent shot and blow it up on screen, I can’t even tell what I’m looking at. However, most of the tiny species, (in the region of 2mm long), are pretty dully-coloured, either plain brown or black with sombre brown markings. This one turned out to have bright red markings though, more in line with the larger species, and I’m positive I have never seen one before, so I’m pretty excited! I have no way of identifying it other than via the Ladybird Survey, so I have fired off some photos to them, to see what they come back with. As usual, my photos are dreadful on this scale. Helen at the Ladybird Survey suggested Nephus redtenbacheri as a possible ID.

Dwarf ladybird, possibly Nephus redtenbacheri
Dwarf ladybird, possibly Nephus redtenbacheri
Dwarf ladybird, possibly Nephus redtenbacheri
Dwarf ladybird, possibly Nephus redtenbacheri

Unfortunately my feeble photos didn’t supply enough data for even the esteemed Ladybird Survey team to confirm an ID. However, they did supply some clues, as shown below …

 

From: Peter Brown

Sent: Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 11:36 PM

To: Ladybird Survey

Subject: Fwd: FW: New small ladybird species

 

Hi Helen

Do we have any details of location and/or habitat? I would say that this is a variety of Scymnus interruptus and I don't think it's S. suturalis (because of black T shape being too thick, overall appearance too red). But Nephus Redtenbacheri is not a species that I find, so Richard could we ask your opinion?

Thanks

Pete  

 

 

From: Richard Comont

Date: Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 11:22 AM

Subject: Re: FW: New small ladybird species

To: Peter Brown

Cc: Ladybird Survey

 

Hi both,

I'm happy to rule out redtenbacheri - the colours are too bright and the red seems to at least reach the epimeron, which it doesn't in the Nephus. For similar reasons, I don't think it's Scymnus suturalis.  Scymnus interruptus does have colour forms like this (Mark Telfer has found them in East London, though they seem scarce elsewhere compared to the standard form), but S. limbatus is very similar (albeit slightly less red) and I wouldn't be happy splitting those two from these photos - need to see the underside, ideally of a specimen.

Cheers,

Richard

 

 

From: Peter Brown

Sent: 05 August 2018 13:26

To: Graeme Stroud

Cc: Ladybird Survey

Subject: Fwd: FW: New small ladybird species

 

Dear Graeme

We have been consulting on this one and please see the responses below, including one from Richard Comont. So unless you have a specimen this one will have to remain an uncertainty...

Thanks!

Best wishes

Peter

UK Ladybird Survey

 

 

So my ladybird remains officially unidentified! But I shall take it as my 6th species of the year.

This moth got into the conservatory tonight. I thought it was the standard Silver Y, but it turned out to be a similar species, not easily identifiable – dark arches? Clouded brindle maybe?

Not-totally-identified moth
Not-totally-identified moth

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