Species of the Month - June 2011

7-spot Ladybird

Coccinella septempunctata

The 7-spot is the commonest British ladybird, though in Argyll it may be second to the Larch Ladybird.  Certainly it is the species most often noticed.

In my experience numbers of this species were well down last year, which may have been due to the prolonged frost of the previous winter.  They seem to be building up again this year.

ID: The only ladybird with 7 black spots on a red background, apart from the "Scarce 7-spot Ladybird" which is only found close to wood ants' nests, has not been recorded this far north, and has the central spots much larger than the ones at the sides.

All British ladybird species are described and depicted here: http://www.ladybird-survey.org/species_list.aspx

The 7-spot Ladybird can occur almost anywhere on low vegetation; it is not normally in trees.

Coccinella 7-punctata on Urtica dioica   Coccinella 7-punctata


Coccinella septempunctata

Records of any other ladybird species are even more welcome!  Send a photo to sightings@lnhg.org.uk if not sure which species you have found.

Date of sighting 
7-spot Ladybird or other ladybird species 
If other species, please give description, or name of species if known 
Grid reference 
Name of finder 
Your name (if different) 
Email (not needed if I already know it!) 
Number seen 
Any other details, e.g habitat, behaviour, what plant was it on? 


By filling in this form you agree that the information contained in this form may be collated and disseminated manually or electronically for environmental decision-making, education, research and other public benefit uses in accordance with the LNHG data access policy.  Your email address will not form part of the record and will not be passed on to anyone.

Carl Farmer
G Biological Records Manager

Sightings so far

On 2nd June, Kerry and Olya found numerous 7-spot Ladybirds at Dunollie.  In one place there were several of these on docks and nettles under sycamore trees, together with 10-spot, Orange and Larch Ladybirds, all in the same place.  Possibly these had fallen from the trees during the recent storm which affected the trees at Dunollie very badly.  Problem with that theory is why wouldn't they just fly back up there?

11 June, two 7-spots seen by me on Meadowsweet leaves near Dunadd.

25 June, one 7-spot seen on the ground by Kerry and me at Polvinister.

27 Aug, after not seeing any ladybirds for a long while, saw several 7-spots today between Creagan and Invernahyle.

Note you can still send in records for past species of the month.  Here is the list of species we've had so far:

May 2011 - Green Hairstreak
Apr 2011
- Townhall Clock
Mar 2011 - Frogspawn

Next month's page
Current month's page


Other ladybird species to look for in Argyll
in approximate order of likelihood

Aphidecta obliterata


Aphidecta obliterata

Larch Ladybird.  Common but inconspicuous.


Calvia 14-guttata

Cream-spot Ladybird.  Usually redder/browner than Orange Ladybird and can be told by 2nd row of spots having 6 in a straight line.


Halyzia 16-guttata


Halyzia 16-guttata

Orange Ladybird.  Does not have 6 spots in a row going across.


Adalia 10-punctata

Adalia 10-punctata

  Adalia 10-punctata

Adalia 10-punctata

10-spot Ladybird.  Normally in trees.  Very variable.  Usually much white on the pronotum (the bit between the head and the wing-cases).  Classic pronotum pattern is shown in the first picture; others may have the black spots larger and fused together as in the lower two pictures.


Coccinella undecimpunctata


Coccinella 11-punctata

11-spot Ladybird.  Scarce.  Usually coastal.


Subcoccinella 24-punctata

24-spot Ladybird.  This one from Ardchattan in 2007 was the furthest north ever recorded.  In 2010 I found one even further north at Port Appin.


Adalia 2-punctata


Adalia 2-punctata

2-spot Ladybird, not yet recorded for Argyll but it must surely occur here as it is found to the north, east and south!  Be the first to put it on the Argyll map!


Coccinella 5-punctata

5-spot Ladybird, not recorded for Argyll but could be lurking here.  Rare, confined to river shingle.

Several other species could occur in the area.  These are just the ones I have photos of.


All photos and other content copyright Carl Farmer except where stated