Believe it or not, these are all the the same species of Ladybird. They are the notoriously invasive Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia Axyridis, the most invasive ladybird on earth. It is also known as the Multicoloured Asian Ladybird and the Halloween Ladybird. It has a very variable appearance, which can make it difficult to tell apart from our native ladybirds.
The harlequin ladybird was introduced to North America in 1988, where it is now the most widespread ladybird species on the continent. It has already invaded much of northwestern Europe, and arrived in Britain in the summer of 2004.
I photographed all these variants on my runner bean plants, in South London, where fortunately for the ladybirds, but not for me, there is a large supply of black aphids.
Camera: Nikon D200
Lens: Nikkor 105mm f/2.8
Flash: Speedlight SB-800
Exposure: 1/250 sec at f/32
Post Processing: Photoshop CS3
© 2008 John Hooton Photography