A single Pine Ladybird, Exochomus quadripustulatus, was seen today on the bark of one of the beech trees at the top of Stove Brae. This is one of the earliest Ladybirds to emerge in spring but today’s observation is two weeks later than in 2012 and 2011, when they were first seen in the second week of April. They are very small (much smaller than a 7-spot Ladybird), and black with red spots. Despite their name they seem, in the Botanics, to like beech, particularly the sunny side of the bark. They probably feed on scale insects. I photographed these two mating on the same tree in 2011.