Ladybird / ladybug

  • Scientific name: Two-spot ladybird, Adalia bipunctata / Seven-spot ladybird, Coccinella septempunctata
  • Type: Insects

Key information

Among the best-known and most well-loved beetles, ladybirds (also known as ladybugs) are easy to recognise. The most familiar have bright red elytra (wing cases) with black spots, while other common species such as black and yellow ladybirds, white and brown ladybirds, or even striped ladybirds.

The most common species are the two-spot and larger seven-spot ladybirds, although about 40 others can also be found in the British Isles.

Ladybirds are brightly coloured, warning predators of their bitter taste, which helps survival. They are also able to exude a pungent fluid to ward off ants, birds and people.

During the winter adults hibernate in cracks, crevices and leaf litter and emerge in April to find a mate. Females lay eggs that hatch after about four days, depending on the temperature.

The steely-blue larvae with creamy-yellow spots do not resemble the adults. They eat aphids voraciously. After several moults over the course of a few months, they emerge as adults to feed for a few weeks before seeking a sheltered spot to hibernate.

What they eat:

Adult ladybirds and larvae feed on aphids and small insects.


Two-spot ladybird: up to 5 mm long Seven-spot ladybird: up to 8 mm long

Identifying features:

Natural habitats: Bog garden Bug box Flower border Hanging basket Hedge Herb garden Meadow area Nettle patch Patio Shed Shrub Window box Woodland area

Where and when to see them

Ladybirds can be seen throughout the garden. Also in parks, meadows and woods.

From early spring until autumn. You may see hibernating adults clustered in groups in sheds or other sheltered places.

  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
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  • sep
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  • dec