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.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard?

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? Visit our gardening pages to get started.