• Laboratoire des sols
  • Université de lorraine


 it is true that ladybugs do not live only on the surface of the ground,
but it is not uncommon to find some of their representatives in a trap pot


Classification (systematic position)
Source : INPN


Animal Kingdom
Embranchement (Phylum) : Arthropoda
Subphylum: Pancrustacea
Class: Hexapod
Subclass: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Coccinellidae




Morphological characteristics
Insect beetles with a very rounded body in 3 parts (head, thorax, abdomen), bright colors with variable designs which can be used to put a name on a species, 3 pairs of short legs, 2 rather short antennae, robust elytra which cover the wings allowing the flight, mouthpart of the chewing type.

There are a multitude of species of ladybugs (about 80 in gardens in France) whose color can vary from red, as for the most common 7-spotted ladybug ( Coccinella septempunctata ), to black and yellow.


Life cycle
After overwintering, the 7-spotted ladybird becomes active at the end of winter and in April/May lays a large quantity of yellow eggs (500 to 1000) distributed among colonies of aphids. Adults die in the spring shortly after mating and egg laying. Once out of their egg, the larvae become active and devour a large number of aphids to manage to develop rapidly in 15 to 20 days before attaching themselves to plants to turn into chrysalises (or nymphs) which will give birth in 7 days. adult ladybugs. Depending on the species, there may be one or more generations per year. For example the seven-spotted lady beetle ( Coccinella septempunctata ) establishes only one generation per year.


Ladybugs are primarily carnivorous and aphid eaters, and ladybug larvae are generally more voracious than adults. A 7-spot ladybug can eat in the larval and adult state up to 80 aphids per day. Pollen and nectar can also be eaten when the number of aphids decreases. Species of ladybugs feed on fungi on various plants such as Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata which feeds exclusively on a parasitic plant fungus (oak, maple, giant hogweed, etc.).


Natural predators or regulators
Ladybugs expel a bitter odorous liquid, which protects them from predation by birds. They are therefore little predated.


Ladybugs can live in many ecosystems, they are where their food is. The 7-spotted lady beetle is often found at ground level in low crops while other species prefer to be high up.

Ladybugs spend the winter sheltered from the cold, hidden in a litter of dead leaves, bark, garden sheds or in the recesses of house windows.


Interests in the garden
Ladybugs, in adult and larval form, regulate populations of aphids, mites, scale insects and fungi, depending on the species.


Did you know ?
Ladybugs are sometimes called "good god beasts" because a legend from the Middle Ages (10th century) tells that a man who was to be beheaded for his crimes was pardoned by King Robert II the Pious thanks to a ladybug which placed on her neck and which kept coming back to the same place despite the executioner's efforts to chase it away.

The repellent liquid emitted by ladybugs to defend themselves against predators was once used to calm toothaches.

Last change : 03/04/22
cocinelle photo 520 700
Figure 1
cocinelle photo 520 700 2
Figure 2
cocinelle photo 520 700 larve
Figure 3