7 Spot Ladybirds

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7-Spot Ladybird

Scientific name:  Coccinella septempunctata

Size:  Approximately 6 to 7mm long

Distribution:  Found throughout the U.K.

Months seen:  March to October

Habitat:  Gardens, meadows, parks, waste ground, nettle patches, hedgerows, woodland rides and any other place where aphids might be found

Food:  Aphids

Special features:  Seven spot ladybirds are small beetles with a black body, black legs, and orange-red wing casings.  Each wing casing has three black spots and there is usually another half spot where the two wing casings meet on the top of the back.  There are two white markings at the front edge of the thorax, and white spots on the head, either side of the eyes.  These markings, coupled with the short legs and rounded body give this ladybird a rather cute and friendly appearance.

In various parts of the UK they have been given other names.  In Lancashire they are known as 'God's Horses', in Wales they call them the 'Red Cows of God', in Lincolnshire they are known as'Lambladies', in Yorkshire they are often called 'Dowdy Cows' and in Norfolk they're known as Bishy-Barny-Bees.

The bright red colour is a warning to other animals that they are not good to eat, but this hasn't always worked.  In the past people used to eat ladybirds to cure toothache as they believed the oily, yellow fluid in their bodies was a good pain killer.

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