The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is native to Europe and successfully established in the U.S. in 1973. It gets its name from the number of spots on its wing covers — three on each side and one in the middle. This species is a voracious aphid predator.
The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is the official state insect in five different states: Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Tennessee.
The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is relatively large, between 8 and 8 mm in length.
- The head is black, with one white dot over each eye.
- The pronotum is nearly entirely black, except for two white rectangular shapes on either side of the front of the pronotum.
- The wing covers (elytra) are red or orange in color, with one white spot at the top of each elytron near the pronotum. Each wing cover has three spots, and there is one central spot spanning both elytra right beneath the two white spots, totaling seven spots across the wing covers. The size of the spots is highly variable.
- The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle is often confused with the Asian Lady Beetle, Eleven-spotted Lady Beetle, Nine-spotted Lady Beetle, Variegated Lady Beetle, Mountain Lady Beetle, and Convergent Lady Beetle.
The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle can occur in a wide range of habitats, found in gardens, grasslands, broadleaf forests, and mixed forests. Herbaceous habitat with high aphid abundance seems to be preferred.
Native to Europe and eastern Asia. Introduced to North America, and now can be found across North America. The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle was introduced to North America as a form of biological pest control and there are now concerns on how the establishment of Seven-spotted Lady Beetles is impacting native lady beetle populations.
Mainly eats aphids, will also consume thrips, white flies, and the eggs and larvae of other insects.
The Seven-spotted Lady Beetle has eight developmental stages: egg, larval instar one through four, prepupa, pupa, and adult. In total, they will live for several weeks to several months, depending on location, time of year, and food availability. Number of generations per year is climatically variable, with one generation on average in cooler climates, and multiple generations in warmer climates. Seven-spotted Lady Beetles overwinter in aggregations in sheltered areas near feeding areas, often found under rocks, leaf litter, or in cracks of trees, shrubs, or posts. They seem to prefer to overwinter in raised sites, such as trees or shrubs.
You can find more information about Seven-spotted Lady Beetles using the following links:
Visit the iNaturalist Observation Map and their Occurrence Record to find out where Seven-spotted Lady Beetles have been seen in Vermont.