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Coccinella septempunctata

coccinella septempunctata, coccinella septempunctata life cycle
Coccinella septempunctata, the seven-spot ladybird or, in North America, seven-spotted ladybug or "C-7"1, is the most common ladybird in Europe Its elytra are of a red colour, but punctuated with three black spots each, with one further spot being spread over the junction of the two, making a total of seven spots, from which the species derives both its common and scientific names from the Latin septem = "seven" and punctus = "spot"


  • 1 Biology
  • 2 Anatomy and physiology
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links


A larva of C septempunctata

C septempunctata has a broad ecological range, generally living where there are aphids for it to eat2 Both the adults and the larvae are voracious predators of aphids, and because of this, C septempunctata has been repeatedly introduced to North America as a biological control agent to reduce aphid numbers, and is now established in North America, and has been subsequently designated the official state insect of five different states Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Tennessee

In the United Kingdom, there are fears that the seven-spot ladybird is being outcompeted for food by the harlequin ladybird3 Conversely, in North America, this species has outcompeted many native species, including other Coccinella Massive swarms of C punctata took place in the drought summer of 1976 in the UK4 It used to be a common on the island of Malta, but over the years it has declined in numbers2

Anatomy and physiologyedit

An adult seven-spot ladybird may reach a body length of 76–100 mm 03–04 in Their distinctive spots and attractive colours apparently make them unappealing to predators The species can secrete a fluid from joints in their legs which gives them a foul taste A threatened ladybird may both play dead and secrete the unappetising substance to protect itself5 The seven-spot ladybird synthesizes the toxic alkaloids, N-oxide coccinelline and its free base precoccinelline; depending on sex and diet, the spot size and coloration can provide some indication of how toxic the individual bug is to potential predators6


  1. ^ "Coccinella septempunctata Linnaeus,1758:365 Seven-spotted lady beetle; Seven-spotted ladybug" Discover Life Retrieved November 29, 2010 
  2. ^ a b Schembri, Patrick J; Baldacchino, Alfred E 2011 Ilma, Blat u Hajja: Is-Sisien tal-Ambjent Naturali Malti in Maltese pp 81–82 ISBN 978-99909-44-48-8 
  3. ^ Ben Quinn November 7, 2006 "Home-grown ladybirds put to flight by alien invasion" The Daily Telegraph 
  4. ^ Parkinson, Justin 5 March 2016 "Could the ladybird plague of 1976 happen again" BBC News Magazine Archived from the original on 16 October 2016 
  5. ^ "Ladybug Profile" National Geographic National Geographic Society Retrieved October 3, 2009 
  6. ^ J Blount; H Rowland; F Drijfhout; J Endler; R Inger; J Sloggett; G Hurst; D Hodgson; M Speed 2012 "How the ladybird got its spots: effects of resource limitation on the honesty of aposematic signals" Functional Ecology 26 2: 1–9 doi:101111/j1365-2435201201961x 

External linksedit

  • Media related to Coccinella septempunctata at Wikimedia Commons
  • Data related to Coccinella septempunctata at Wikispecies

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Coccinella septempunctata

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