Fifteen species of ladybird are listed here, plus the False Ladybird, Endomychus coccineus. These are the species that I have noticed to be present in the south of Epping Forest, though I may have overlooked others of course, and making an assumption that I have identified the species correctly.

The False Ladybird Endomychus coccineus does look quite like a ladybird, although it has considerably longer antennae and is also much flatter. I have only seen it once, in Wanstead Park in August 2006.

Another species, Rhyzobius litura, is only 2.5-3mm long, and perhaps not so readily recognised as a ladybird. This, together with its small size, may be why it has been overlooked. I only know of one record of this species, spotted and photographed by Rose Stephens while we were looking at the old sewage works site.

The Pine Ladybird Exochomus 4-pustulatus is - in Essex - fairly common in urban areas and has been seen here in the City of London Cemetery and Wanstead Park. The Orange Ladybird Halyzia 16-guttata has occurred from time to time actually inside my house as well as in the garden at the south edge of Wanstead Flats. The 22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora 22-punctata is frequently found in the garden as well as in the Exchange Lands and in Wanstead Park. The Cream-spot Ladybird Calvia 14-guttata has only been recorded four times: on Wanstead Flats on 14/05/2009, in Wanstead Park on 06/05/2010 and again on 21/04/2015, and in the Sewage Works site on 03/05/2015. The 14-spot Ladybird Propylea 14-punctata although small is brightly and distinctively coloured and is seen quite frequently. The City of London Cemetery, the garden in particular, Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Parks are all areas where it has been noticed, indicating perhaps that it is very common.

The Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis goes under a number of English names; this is the invader that arrived in Britain in 1994 and has spread rapidly since then, now having become one of the most frequently sighted. The harlequin name is given because of the range of colours and patterns that it may exhibit. Suffice to say, it is very common throughout this area.

The 2-spot Ladybird Adalia 2-punctata on the other hand is (was?) one of our two common and native species, the other being the larger 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata. These may still be seen fairly commonly in a variety of locations, and are common in gardens. The 10-spot Ladybird Adalia 10-punctata is much less common, although I have found it in my garden.

Hippodamia variegata (alternatively Adania variegata) is another small creature, measuring some 4-5mm. Locally, it was seen and photographed on Wanstead Flats in October 2014 by Rose Stephens, and subsequently I saw one in the City of London Cemetery on 30th July 2018.  I have only seen the 13-spot Ladybird Hippodamia 13-punctata  once; this was in the old sewage works site by the edge of the cycle track that runs across "Redbridge Field". This was in 2010 when a small number were feeding on vegetation by the side of a track.

Similarly, the Water Ladybird Anisosticta 14-punctata has only been found once, in the small pond by Forest School, Gilbert's Slade, when Jenny Coverdale found it during a pond-dipping exercise. This was being run at the annual BNA Conference, taking place that day in the school, and it was confidently identified by Professor Michael Majerus, a Cambridge ladybird expert who was at hand!

The 16-spot Ladybird Tytthaspis 16-punctata is a tiny creature of some 3mm, which I first saw in my garden in Capel Road in May 2006. Careful searching of the ant-hills on the Plain in Wanstead Park has produced other specimens, and more have been found in the old Sewage Works site. The first 24-spot Ladybird Subcoccinella 24-punctata, was recorded in March 2012, seen walking across the sandy track adjacent to Alexandra Lake. since then, numbers have been seen in the Aldersbrook Exchange Lands, particularly on and under felts put out for reptile studies.


The list below includes dates of the first known records for the Wanstead Wildlife area.

Name Species Locality
False Ladybird Endomychus coccineus Wanstead Park, 30/08/2006
a ladybird Rhyzobius litura Sewage Works site, 11/03/2015
Pine Ladybird Exochomus 4-pustulatus City of London Cemetery, 15/03/2008, many on 17/03/2009; Wanstead Park, only on 06/06/2008.
Orange Ladybird Halyzia 16-guttata Capel Road garden, 06/09/2004; Wanstead Park, 27/02/2014; City of London Cemetery, 05/03/2014
22-Spot Ladybird Psyllobora 22-punctata Capel Road garden, 11/05/2006; Wanstead Park, 31/07/2008; Sewage Works site, 10/07/2011
Cream-spot Ladybird Calvia 14-punctata Wanstead Flats, 14/05/2009; Wanstead Park, 06/05/2010 and 21/04/2015; Sewage Works site, 03/05/2015
14-Spot Ladybird Propylea 14-punctata Capel Road garden, 10/08/2004; Wanstead Park, 07/05/2006; Wanstead Flats, 24/07/2007; Sewage Works site, 22/05/2012; Alders Brook area, 17/06/2015
Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis City of London Cemetery, 09/10/2005; Capel Road garden, 05/04/2006; Wanstead Flats, 27/05/2006; Wanstead Park, 27/07/2007; City of London Cemetery, 18/06/2008
2-Spot Ladybird Adalia 2-punctata Capel Road garden, 23/05/2012
10-Spot Ladybird Adalia 10-punctata Capel Road garden, 22/04/2005; Wanstead Park, 31/05/2011; City of London Cemetery, 08/08/2016
7-Spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata Tarsy Wood, Wanstead 12/02/2005; City of London Cemetery, 27/10/2005; Capel Road garden, 21/04/2006; Sewage Works site, 23/05/2006; Wanstead Flats, 25/05/2006; Bush Wood, 23/02/2007; Wanstead Park, 25/04/2011
Adonis Ladybird Hippodamia (Adonia) variegata City of London Cemetery, on old shoot area, 30/07/2018. Also found once on Wanstead Flats on 14/10/2014 by Rose Stephens
13-Spot Ladybird Hippodamia 13-punctata  Old Sewage Works site (Aldersbrook Exchange Lands) on 12/06/2010
Water Ladybird Anisosticta 14-punctata By the Forest Pond, Gilbert's Slade, 10/05/2008
16-spot Ladybird
Tytthaspis 16-punctata Capel Road garden, 07/05/2006; Wanstead Park, on the Plain, 06/06/2008; Sewage Works site, 10/03/2015
24-spot Ladybird Subcoccinella 24-punctata Wanstead Flats, on sandhills by Alexandra Lake, 30/03/2012. Many in Old Sewage Works site (Aldersbrook Exchange Lands) on 22/03/2016.