Seven facts about seven spot ladybirds

ONE: There are about 5,000 different species of ladybirds in the world but only 47 of them can be found in the British Isles and the seven spot ladybird is the most common of them and one of the biggest.

TWO: It is red with, of course, seven black spots, and its scientific name is Coccinella septempunctata.

THREE: In the early summer, the seven spot ladybird female lays her eggs near colonies of aphids or scale insects: food for her voracious larvae when they hatch.

[1] Seven spot ladybird female laying eggs; [2] seven spot ladybird larva.

FOUR: In the six weeks before the larva pupates, it can eat 5,000 aphids.

FIVE: Seven spot ladybirds have poisonous knees! When attacked, the adult ladybird will exude a toxic, yellow, unpleasant tasting fluid from its leg joints.

SIX: During the winter, adult seven spot ladybirds come together, sometimes in very large numbers, to hibernate in cracks, crevices and leaf litter.

SEVEN: Seven spot ladybirds can be migratory. In certain warm weather conditions, large swarms will arrive in the UK from mainland Europe

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