Coccinella septempunctata

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Hexapoda (including Insecta)
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Coccinellidae
Genus: Coccinella
Species: C. septempunctata
Scientific Name
Coccinella septempunctata
Linnaeus, 1758
Common Names

sevenspotted lady beetle, 7-spot ladybird, seven-spotted lady beetle.

Contents

Description

These insects are generally called ladybugs or lady beetles. Lady beetles are predators as both a larva and adult. Like all insects, lady beetles have three body regions; a head, thorax and abdomen. To identify species, examine characters on both the pronotum, a plate that covers the thorax, and the wing covers, which protect the abdomen, for spot and color patterns.

Distinctive Features

Adult: Round and red. Pronotum is black with large white spots on each side. There are seven black spots total, three on each wing cover and one central spot at the base of the pronotum. Larva: Gray with orange spots on abdominal segments 1 and 4.

Life Cycle

Female beetles lay 15-25 yellow oval eggs in clusters on leaves or stems. Eggs hatch in 5-7 days into larvae Larvae complete four instars over 10-30 days before pupating on plant leaves or stems. Adults emerge from pupa in 3-12 days. Beetles overwinter as adults in leaf litter.

Prey

Aphids, mites, caterpillars, insect eggs, other soft-bodied insects.

Habitat

Can be found on leaves, stems, and flowers; in backyard gardens, crop fields, meadows, and woodlands.

Floral Resources

This lady beetle can feed on pollen and nectar in addition to insect prey.

Distribution

Most states coast to coast between Canada and Mexico.

Origin

Exotic.

Occurrence

Common.

Size

7-8 mm.

Color

Black, red, white.

As a Biological Control

The sevenspotted lady beetle, Coccinella septempunctata, is the lady beetle of nursery rhymes, an introduced species from Europe. It is now widely distributed in North America and a common species. It can be found in many crops, but is particularly common in gardens and field crops, rather than on trees and shrubs. The adults and larvae are voracious eaters of aphids.

Commercial Suppliers

Company State Country
Great Lakes IPM, Inc. MI USA
Rincon-Vitova Insectaries, Inc. CA USA
Tip Top Bio-Control CA USA
Applied Bio-Nomics BC Canada
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