What's the difference between
a ladybird
and a harlequin ladybird?

What's the difference between harlequins and ladybirds?


  • Harlequin ladybirds are an invasive species (Harmonia axyridis) first found in the UK in 2004. They come in many different colours, and there are 46 species of ladybird, so it can be difficult to tell the difference between them.

  • Harlequins are larger than ladybirds - they can be 8mm long and are usually larger than 5mm long. Any smaller than 5mm will be a ladybird and not a harlequin.

  • Harlequins usually have brown legs, ladybirds have black legs.

  • Harlequin wing cases can be yellow, pale orange, bright orange or red. Ladybird wings can be brown, yellow, orange, red or black (melanic).

  • Harlequins can have up to 21 spots, ladybirds up to 15. Both can have as few as two spots.

  • A common ladybord species is the 7-spot ladybird. There is not an equivalent harlequin variety.