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Seven-spotted Lady Beetle (Coccinella septempunctata)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Seven-spotted Lady Beetle

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The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is a dome-shaped garden friend because its spiky larvae remove aphids before plants suffer.

Updated: 02/14/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
This small beetle may be mostly red, or shades of orange. Seven black dots can be counted on the eltyra (wing coverings) when they are closed: three sit on the top of the beetle, forming a triangle, and each side has two more. Small white patches sit on either side of the central black dot. The black pronotum has a large white patch by the head on each side, and the face also has a pair of white dots on it. While the adult form is charming to look at, the larval form causes curiosity.

Lady Beetle larvae look nothing like the adult. The general shape of the body is similar to a spiky, armored alligator, and it is not commonly recognized as a young lady beetle. The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle larva has orange spots on its black body. Each segment on the long, tapered abdomen has a set of bumps on it. Six black legs near the head are large and protrude from under the long juvenile. They help the larva move quickly over a plant as it chases down smaller aphids and eats them. This larva is so good at controlling pest aphid populations that deliberate introduction from their native Europe to North America was attempted many times. Aphids are fast reproducing, plant-sucking insects that harm a plant's appearance and health. Established populations of this beetle can protect crops and ornamental plants from aphid infestations. Eventually, the Seven-spotted Lady Beetle adapted to life on this continent, and it can now be found in every part of it. When spying Lady Beetles in the garden, be sure to count the black spots and notice their arrangement before taking measures to remove them. This is a beneficial species to have around.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Coccinellidae
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          Genus: Coccinella
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            Species: septempunctata
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Coccinella septempunctata
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 6mm to 8mm (0.23" to 0.31")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red; orange; black; white
Descriptors: seven dots; spots; flying; dome; spiky; bumpy; bug; ladybug

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 6mm (0.2in) and 8mm (0.3in)
Lo: 6mm
Md: 7mm
Hi: 8mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Seven-spotted Lady Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Seven-spotted Lady Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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