The 17-Spot Ladybird Beetle (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle.
The 17-Spot Ladybird Beetle has yellow-orange elytra (two wing cases) with 17 black spots. Its pronotum is yellow with 5 black spots. Its shiny 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 and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little black legs.
It grows to half a centimetre (less than a quarter of an inch) in length.
It is native to Europe. It prefers low vegetation, and is seen from April to October, but it is more active in summer. In winter, it lives under tree bark and rocks.
Unlike most other ladybirds which feed on aphids, the 17-Spot Ladybird Beetle eats mildew.
Its 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 (casings). Inside each pupa, the larva becomes a beetle, and the adult beetle emerges. This process is called metamorphosis.
Location of photographs: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM