The harlequin ladybird is one of about 40 species of ladybird found in Britain and Ireland. Like many other ladybirds it is predatory. It has a preference to feed on aphids but will eat other insects.
The harlequin ladybird originates from Japan and has been introduced as a biological control agent around the world to control aphids. It was not deliberately introduced to Britain or Ireland, but it become established in 2004. Since then it has become widespread in England and is spreading in Wales, Scotland and Ireland.