Seven-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata

Seven-spot Ladybird
Seven-spot Ladybird
The Seven-spot Ladybird, the most well-known ladybird species, is native to most of Europe and is probably still the most common despite the rapid growth of the Harlequin Ladybird in recent years. It is one of the largest ladybirds. The Seven-spot has been introduced to North America, where it is known as the Seven-spotted Ladybug.
Seven-spot Ladybird chasing prey
Seven-spot Ladybird with prey
The Ladybird is known as the gardener's friend since it eats garden pests such as aphids.
Above left it is chasing its unfortunate prey and above right it has caught it.
7-spot ladybird
Seven-spot ladybird pollinating flower
7-spot Ladybird pollinator
Ladybirds are also useful pollinators.
7-spot larva
Seven-spot Ladybird larva
7-spot Ladybird larva Above photo of larva by Andreas Maurus
The larva (young stage) of the Seven-spot, like other ladybird larvae, looks like an alien insect but has an even more voracious appetite for garden pests than the adult. The larva has four red spots on its black body.
7-spot pupa
Seven-spot Ladybird pupa
7-spot Ladybird pupa
When it has eaten enough, the larva pupates to turn into the adult ladybird. Seven-spot pupae are variable orange and black, as above; they are attached to a stem or leaf. (Harlequin pupae, also orange and black and variable, have a more bristly discarded skin at the base than the Seven-spot -- see Harlequin page.)
7-spot ladybird newly-emerged
Seven-spotted Ladybug newly-emerged
7-spot Ladybird newly-emerged
The newly-emerged adult ladybird is light yellowy orange with no spots. The spots gradually appear and darken over the next hour or so and the orange darkens to red in the following days.
Dark red 7-spot Fully darkened to red.
The red colour warns predators that it is distasteful.
Ladybird heart - lovebug The seven spots are three on each side plus two halves which form a spot in the centre -- a heart on the one above.
7-spot Ladybird wings The wing cases open to reveal fold-out wings for flight.