Refugee's picture


Observed: 11th February 2011 By: RefugeeRefugee’s reputation in InvertebratesRefugee’s reputation in InvertebratesRefugee’s reputation in Invertebrates

Harliquin ladybirds.
I am quite convinced that i first observed these in the west midlands in about 1973 as a teenager. My main observation was that they were about twice the length of the normal kind i had seen many times. I have also noticed that the native ones vary a lot more even sometimes having red spots on black wing covers. I have never seen this with these "big" ones. Also the number of spots appears to vary less or not at all.
Is there any other native ladybirds that could account for my 1970s observation or could they also be harliquins?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which 7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata) interacts


rimo's picture


These are the native species Coccinella septempunctata, the 7-spot ladybird, so it is more than likely that you saw them in the 1970s. The Harlequin was not released into Europe until 1982, and didn't become established in the wild anywhere outside the native range until 1988 (in America).

The 'normal kind' you refer to could well have been the 2-spot ladybird (there are several other species but this is the commonest in gardens, etc) - these are indeed about half the size of the species in your photo here, and have both typical (red background, black spots) and melanic (black background, red spots) forms. As you've noticed, by comparison the 7-spot is very conserved in terms of size and spot number - the Harlequin, by contrast, is immensely variable!

Record your ladybird sightings!

Refugee's picture

I was wrong

That ID 'mops up' all of what i was thinking when i found those and all the others i disturbed while cleaning the bean trench.