Belongs to: beetles

7-spot ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata

Also known as: ladybug, lady beetle


Best time to see: Mar to end Oct

Key facts

Familiar beneficial insect that feeds on aphids, often brightly coloured to discourage predators

Found worldwide, with about 5,000 known different species; the 7-spot shown here is among the commonest in Britain

Occurs anywhere where aphid food is available, including gardens and agricultural areas

Recognition

Round to oval and dome-shaped; often red or orange with black spots but some species are black with red or yellow spots

Both young and adults feed on aphids and insect eggs, but adults also feed on small insects, nectar and pollen

Overwinter as adults, beneath leaf litter, under bark, in cracks and crevices, often in groups, emerging early in spring

Lifecycle

Female lays a cluster of tiny yellow eggs close to an aphid colony, up to 300 at a time

After hatching the larvae grow rapidly over about three weeks, gobbling up aphids and shedding skin several times

For about a week the pupa remains attached to a plant stem while it metamorphoses into an adult

  • Main photo
  • larva
  • 14-spot

Photo © Tony Gunton

Photo © Tony Gunton

Photo © Tony Gunton