lordro's picture


Observed: 23rd March 2011 By: lordrolordro’s reputation in Invertebrateslordro’s reputation in Invertebrateslordro’s reputation in Invertebrates
What are those jaws working on?
They seem to favour nettles.

Many of these Ladybirds were active on a patch of nettles. I realise that iSpot is different from Gardeners' Question Time, but when can I clear the nettles without disrupting the activity of the Ladybirds and so give the garden the benefit of them later in the Summer? And is the one in the first picture eating the plant? I believed they are wholly carnivorous!

Species interactions

No interactions present.

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


rimo's picture

In the first picture, those

In the first picture, those are the maxillary palps, rather than the jaws - they're sensory organs. Much of ladybird communication is chemical in nature, and in particular 'smelling' the trails of other ladybirds, which is likely to be what this individual is doing.

If you want to remove the nettles without disturbing the ladybirds, your best bet is to do it between October and April, when there are no ladybird larvae or eggs present - the adults are more than capable of dispersing when the plants are removed. However, if you want the ladybirds as pest control later in the year you're better off leaving the nettles to act as a reservoir for ladybirds and lacewings.

Record your ladybird sightings!