7-spot ladybird

7-spot Ladybird

7-spot Ladybird ©Rachel Scopes

7-spot Ladybird

7-spot Ladybird ©Dawn Monrose

7-spot Ladybird larva

7-spot Ladybird larva ©Amy Lewis

7-spot ladybird

Scientific name: Coccinella septempunctata
One of our most common ladybirds, the black-on-red markings of the 7-spot ladybird are very familiar. Ladybirds are a gardeners best friend as they eat insects that love to nibble on garden plants! You can encourage them into your garden by putting up a bug box.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 6-8mm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

March to October

About

You’ve probably spotted the 7-spot ladybird many times as they are the most common of our ladybirds. They are found in gardens and parks – or anywhere there are aphids for it to feed on. Adults hibernate in hollow plant stems, sometimes clustering together in a large group. Not only do we have native 7-spot ladybirds in the UK, but there is also a species who migrate to the UK every spring from warmer climates. The bright colours of ladybirds warn predators that they taste horrible, although some birds will still have a go!

How to identify

The 7-spot ladybird is easily recognised by its red wing cases, dotted with a pattern of seven black spots; it also has a familiar black-and-white-patterned thorax.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The bright colours of ladybirds warn predators that they are distasteful, although some birds may still have a go at eating them. As well as their warning colouration, ladybirds also have another defence mechanism: when handled, they release a pungent, yellow substance from their joints (a form of 'controlled bleeding') that can stain the hands.

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