Myrrha octodecimguttata (Linnaeus, 1758)
Locally common throughout the UK to the northern Scottish highlands. Restricted by habitat; they breed in the crowns of Scots pine and hibernate high up in bark crevices. In our experience they become adventitious in late summer, the few tall Scots pine in Cassiobury park are presumably hosts as during august 2006 adults were taken within a kilometre or so on Cedrus sp. and, along with an abundance of other ladybirds, a pedunculate Copper Beech. They have on several occasions (july, august,sept. 2006) been attracted to MV in the town centre, perhaps understandable as pines are common in local domestic gardens and St. Mary's churchyard.

4.5-5.2mm. Broad oval, glabrous and entirely light brown to dark red-brown. Antennae obviously longer than width of head including eyes, darkened apically, with loose 3 segmented club, segments 9 and 10 with clearly sinuate anterior margins. Head with pale mark between eyes. Pronotum finely bordered laterally, broadest behind middle. Entire upper surface punctate. Scutellum visible, elytra bordered from scutellum to apex. The pattern of lighter markings on pronotum and elytra make this species unmistakable; pronotum with lateral margins lighter, often broadly so, these usually fused across front margin, and with two median basal marks. Elytra with 8, unusually 7 or 9, lighter marks including a tick shaped mark around the scutellum, the strength of these vary very little. No melanic form is known. Legs distinctly pubescent. Claws smooth, broadened to a blunt tooth at base.

Description from 2 Watford specimens at X10


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