lifestyle

Coccinella Septempunctata

Coccinella Septempunctata also known as the seven spotted ladybird or ladybug is the most common in Europe. As it’s actually a beetle, not a bug, the term ladybug si somehow incorrect, but it isn’t a bird either, so… 😂

So is the “fact” that the number of spots on the insect’s back indicates its age. It’s a common error, but it is totally unfounded. Pattern and coloration are determined by the species and the genetic of the beetle, not at all by its age. 🤭

Altough there are plenty of coccinellid species, the seven spotted lady whatever, as both of its common and scientific name shows, has 7 dots. Not more, not less. Its elytra are of a red color, punctuated with 3 black spots each, and there is another spot being spread over the junction of the two. 3+3+1=7.

The majority of coccinellid species are considered useful insects, because many species prey on herbivorous homopterans such as aphids or scale insects, which are agricultural pests. In 2016 we had a small lady whatever (let’s just call it coccinella, shall we? As I am not sure anymore that any of it’s English names are correct) farm. 🤣 I was living in Switzerland back then, and we had a problem with the roses in the garden, they were full of aphids all of a sudden, and we tried to remediate the situation without using any toxic substances. There were lots of cats in the neighborhood and we didn’t want to risk their wellbeing, so we took home some coccinella “babies” one day and hoped that they will do their job. And they did, it was worth the waiting, especially because the whole process was so exciting with its ups and downs. Raising babies (of any kind) is hard, you know, and so is raising cocinellids. 🤭 Some of them just couldn’t make it, and that’s sad. The weak ones were killed by the others and eaten by them, and that’s gross. 👀

Anyway it was quite an awesome experience all in all. It changed completely the image I had about these beetles in my head. I learned how complex they are, and I realized that they are not cute at all. I think of them in a different way now, but I still like them very much and I am always happy when I meet one on my way. However, I think this guy might be the last one this season. Bye bye baby! See you next summer!

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