Worldwide, the are approximately 5,000 different species of ladybird. There are only 46 species of ladybird that live in the United Kingdom, though you will find that most of them you will not be recognisable as having bright red bodies and black spots as we all think of them. In fact, there are probably only 26 that can be readily identified like this. The remaining ladybird family members can be quite dull looking, some even having patches, stripes or streaks. Some that we think are ladybirds, are actually a different family of beetle. The Tortoise beetle, for example, is commonly mistaken for a ladybird. (See image below)
Many of Britain’s ladybirds can be identified simply by the number of spots that they have. Common British ladybirds are the 2 Spot, the 10 Spot and the most common of all is the 7 Spot, which has 3 spots on each wing cover, known as the elytron, and a joint spot in the middle by the head which is known as the scutellary spot, as you can clearly see in the following photograph.