CREATURE FEATURE: Seven-Spot Ladybird

The Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle. It is also known as the Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle, the Seven-Spotted Ladybug, or the Seven-Spot Ladybug Beetle.

The Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle has red elytra (two wing cases) with three black spots each and another black spot on the junction of the wing cases (to total 7 spots). Its body is oval-shaped and slightly domed. Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases. It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown, quite long, and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little reddish-brown legs. 

Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle

It is very small. It measures about one centimetre (a quarter of an inch) in length. 

The Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle is the most common ladybird in Europe. It is also found in North Africa, Australia, Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Asia. 

It prefers parks, gardens, and woodlands where aphids live. It is more active in summer. In winter, it lives under tree bark and rocks.

It is carnivorous, feeding on aphids and other small insects. 

The life cycle is egg, larva, pupa, adult. The female lays eggs, which hatch into larvae (grubs). The larvae do not look like the adults. The larvae have elongated black bodies with armour and tiny hair-like spines. They have six legs but no wings. As the larvae grow, they change into pupae (casing). Inside each pupa, the larva becomes a beetle, and the adult beetle emerges. This is called metamorphosis (transformation).

Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle
Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle
Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle
Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle
Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle

Location of photographs: Paris, France

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

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