Aphidecta obliterata (L.)

Larch ladybird
© Roy Anderson
 
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Distribution

Britain:

Widespread throughout.

Ireland:

Widespread on conifers and recorded historically from eleven counties (Johnson & Halbert 1902). Probably introduced with planted conifers in the 17th century as native Irish pine became extinct in the middle ages (Mitchell 1976).

Ecology

Exclusively on conifers with needle foliage.  Commonest on Sitka spruce infested with the green spruce aphid where it probably exerts a degree of pest control. 

Variation

The common form in Ireland lacks elytral markings though it frequently has a darkened suture.  Melanic forms have not so far been recorded.