The 7 spot is widespread throughout the UK. The ladybird below has normal colouration of a 7 spot (Coccinellidae septempunctata). The one above has melanic colouration. This type of dark colouration is not so unusual, and is linked to the genes of the beetle. It is believed that in colder areas the dark colouration may be an advantage because it will enable the beetle to warm up more quickly. Also in this species the spot number can vary from 0 - 9, but 7 is by far the commonest.
Adults range in length from 6 - 8 mm. And larvae are up to 10 - 12 mm long. Both pupae and larvae are grey and black with orange splotches. And can be found on a wide variety of plants.
Adults often overwinter together in huge numbers as this conserves warmth.
Above is the Orange ladybird, Halyzia 16 guttata. This ladybird is unusual in the it feeds on mildew on the undersides of the leaves of deciduous trees, although its secondary food is aphids. The spots can be white or creamy-yellow, and the number can vary from 12 - 16.
Not a ladybird, but similar - click here
It overwinters in leaf litter, on trees (especially sycamore), and also underground. Its eggs are off-white - pale lemon yellow and laid in batches of up to 24 on leaves. I found this one injured and clinging to the side of a gate into the woods.
The 14 spot ladybird, above, is yellow with black spots, and it has orange legs. It is found throughout the UK, although less common towards the north, and fairly uncommon in Scotland. Its distribution has decreased since 1990. The spots can be joined up, and very varied in pattern, but tend to be more rectangular than round. There is a dark variety of this species where the background is black and the spots are yellow. The spot number can vary from 4 - 14. Adults are 3.5 - 4.5 mm long, and are found from April - September. It is found on a wide variety of plants, but usually low growing ones, or lower down on taller plants.
14-spot larvae will die if they do not feed for 36 hours.
The 10 spot ladybird, Adalia 10-punctata has orange/yellowish coloured legs and antennae, but the spot pattern is varied, as is the background colour. In fact the 10-spot has over 40 different names mainly because it has so many different colour patterns, leading taxonomists to believe they were describing different species.
Adult body length is 3.5 - 5. 0 mm. It is found throughout the Palaearctic region. In the U. K. it is usually found on deciduous trees, in meadows and gardens, and is common. The adults are commonly seen from May - October.
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