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Seven-spotted Ladybug
Coccinella septempunctata

There are 12 different kind of Ladybugs in Virginia, and one of them includes the highly invasive Asian ladybug – which has a slew of color variations. I actually have those here too (specifically in my house in the winter) but here I want to just focus on this one here.

According to Wikipedia, “Their distinctive spots and attractive colors 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 unappetizing substance to protect itself”

And a note – many people purchase ladybugs to release into their gardens to help with aphids, but research has shown that they may just fly away somewhere else, so this actually isn’t an effective way to deal with that pest. Instead, I’d suggest planting a variety of beneficial plants and habitats to encourage the ladybugs that are around your yard to stay.

Alternate Names: C-7
Size: 6.5 and 8 mm long
Family: Coccinellidae 
Habitat: It likes places where there are aphids to feed on, which can include, your garden, grasses, fields, meadows, parklands, forests.
Identification: Red body, with six black spots (three on each wing) plus one spot right in the middle of the two wings near the head. Head is black colored with two white dots. 
All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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