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Seven point (Coccinella septempunctata)

Seven point ( Coccinella septempunctata )

Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Beetle (Coleoptera)
Subordination : Polyphaga
Partial order : Cucujiformia
Superfamily : Cucujoidea
Family : Ladybug
Scientific name
Latreille , 1807
Seven point when starting a plant
Body type of the ladybug

The ladybirds (Coccinellidae) are a globally widespread family of hemispherical, airworthy beetles , the wings of which usually have a different number of conspicuous points. Many species feed on leaf and scale insects .

The ladybirds are popular with the population and have a wide variety of names in the local vernacular. One of the reasons for their popularity is that they are useful in horticulture and agriculture, as they eat up to 3000 plant lice or spider mites during their larval time, depending on the species . They are variable in their appearance, which makes their determination difficult. The same species can appear in dozens of pattern variations. Some, such as the alfalfa ladybird , even reach over 4000 counted variants. In the past, these variants were given their own names within the same species, for example the two-point ladybird ( Adalia bipunctata ) with over 150 names, which are no longer used today and are scientifically meaningless. With some subgroups - for example within the Scymnini tribe - a determination can be difficult and can only be made reliably on the basis of an examination of the genital organs . In addition to the genitals, the head capsule, the head shield and the antennae attachments are often reliable distinguishing features of similar species.

The beetles can fly well, reaching 75 to 91 wing beats per second. Some species like the light ladybug ( Calvia decemguttata ) are attracted by artificial light at night. This suggests nocturnal expansion flights.


The body size of the strongly arched, short, hemispherical or oval beetles varies from 1 to 12 millimeters. The head, the chest and the underside are usually black. But there are also beetles with light brown or rusty brown undersides. The color of the head mostly depends on the color of the rest of the body and can be very different. The antennae are relatively long, usually eleven-limbed and thickened club-shaped at the end. In some species groups the number of antennae is reduced. The antennae of the chilocorini, for example, only have eight or nine links and are therefore shorter. The ends of the jaws of Central European species are ax-shaped. The mandibles are generally extremely different between the different species, as the animals have adapted to the respective food. Some species have a hairy body, but the wings of the most famous species are without structure and completely smooth. In some species (for example Chilocorini) the edge of the wing is more or less curved upwards.

The legs are similar in structure to those of other beetles. The tarsi also consist of four members, of which the second is strongly lobed and the third is often small. Only in a few species is there a reduction to three tarsal terms.


Ladybug without dots
Twenty-four point ( Subcoccinella vigintiquatuorpunctata )

The body color can vary from light beige to yellow, orange, all shades of brown, pink, red to black. The most famous representatives of the ladybirds have red, yellow, black or brown winged wings. The most famous ladybird in Germany , the seven-spotted ladybird ( Coccinella septempunctata ), owes its color to lycopene , which also turns tomatoes red, and α- and β-carotene , which are also important for the coloring of most other species. The black color is created by a melanin . In freshly hatched animals, their color does not show up until a few hours. At first they are almost white or yellowish and the chitin has not yet hardened. In the species Sospia vigintiguttata , the beetles are brown in the first year and only turn black during the winter. Environmental influences affect the discoloration. It can occur at temperatures below 20 ° C and is accelerated by high humidity and reduced by strong light.

In some species there are also different colors within the species, so there is the two-point ladybird red with black spots, but also less frequently the other way round than black beetles with red spots ( melanism ). In maritime , humid areas and in large urban centers with a strong industry significantly more black shapes develop. This also suggests the influence of the environment. The black forms are more dominant than the red ones and therefore also give birth to more dark offspring. The red form of the two-point ladybird has a higher chance of survival during the winter, the black ones reproduce better and compensate for the losses. The reason for this is that the beetles, like all insects, are poikilothermic . This means that your body temperature depends on the ambient temperature. Body parts colored black absorb more strongly than body parts colored red. When illuminated, the body temperature of the black variant is approx. 5.5 ° C, that of the red variant approx. 3 ° C above the ambient temperature of 18 ° C. This also accelerates the animals' metabolic activity. In winter, however, this is a disadvantage because of the large temperature fluctuations. This is due to the higher mortality.

The conspicuous coloring serves as a warning signal to predators. Additionally, ladybugs have an unpleasant, bitter taste that makes them unattractive. In the event of danger, they can also secrete a yellowish secretion from an opening in the joint membranes ( reflex bleeding ). On the one hand, this defensive secretion drives away enemies through its unpleasant smell, and on the other hand it contains poisonous alkaloids ( coccinellin ). At the same time, the ladybugs pretend to be dead ( thanatose ) and pull their legs into small depressions (valleys) on the underside of the body. In certain types of epilachnini, the yellow fluid is secreted from special dermal glands .


The characteristic thing about the ladybirds are the symmetrically arranged points on their wings . They are mostly black, but there are also beetles that have light, red or brown spots, with species with 2, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22 and 24 Points occur. The points can also vary within individual species. Either the beetles don't have any, or the dots merge with each other so that almost the whole body is black. Contrary to a widespread error, the number of points does not indicate the age of the beetle, but rather the number of points is characteristic of each species and does not change during the life of the beetle. Within the close relationship of individual species (as in the genus Coccinella ) the point variations are similar.


Twenty-two point larva ( Psyllobora.vigintiduopunctata )
Freshly skinned ladybug larva
The larva of an Asian ladybird sheds its skin into a pupa.

The appearance of the larvae is very diverse depending on the species. Most are elongated and plump. Their length varies between 1.5 and 15 millimeters. Most are blue-gray, brown or yellow in color and have yellow, orange or red spots. They have black or red warts spread over their bodies, from which bristle hairs or thorns arise. The color of the beetle can often be used to identify the adult beetle. For example, the larva of the twenty-two-spotted ladybird, like the beetle, has yellow and black spots. Except for the stethorini, they are covered with a layer of wax that protects them from ants , among other things . The larvae of some species (such as those of the seven-spotted ladybird) have relatively long legs and thus look like “scaled-down dragonfly larvae ”.

Sexual dimorphism

In most species of ladybirds, the sexes differ very little. The males are generally somewhat smaller and lighter than the females, but the values ​​are too close together and vary so much that no determination can be made in this way. The fifth part of the abdomen ( sternite ) of the females is a little more pointed than that of the males, but there are also species where not only the physique but also the color is different. This is the case with many species of the genus Scymnus or with the fourteen-point ladybird ( Propylea quatuordecimpunctata ). There are also color differences in the coniferous ladybird ( Aphidecta obliterata ). The males are monochrome brown, only the females develop dark areas of varying degrees on the wings.


Fourteen point ( Propylea quatuordecimpunctata ) eating an aphid
Larva while feeding

The main food of many ladybug species and their larvae are leaf and / or scale insects . If there is a large enough supply, they will eat up to 50 pieces per day and several thousand during their entire life. The beetles are therefore counted among the beneficial insects and are bred for biological pest control . For food range also includes spider mites , bugs , thrips , beetles - sawflies - and occasionally even butterfly larvae . However, there are also species that feed on plants and thus appear to be pests themselves (subfamily Epilachninae, including the twenty-four spotted ladybird ). Still other species live on powdery mildew or mold (tribe Halyziini and Psylloborini , including the sixteen- spotted ladybug and the twenty-two- spotted ladybird ). When food is scarce, predatory species sometimes resort to plant-based foods. These are often fruits, but also pollen . The larvae of the Bulaea lichatschovi feed exclusively on pollen.

In the last larval stage, the larvae eat most of the food. This stage is accelerated by a high ambient temperature. This makes them, especially those of the genus Coccinella , more voracious, but eats fewer lice overall, although they then multiply more anyway because of the better conditions for them. On the other hand, in poor "aphid conditions", the Coccinella can contribute to the complete disappearance of the lice. The number of hunters and the prey regulates itself, however. Since the ladybird larvae react very sensitively to a lack of food, after a year with many lice and the resulting large number of beetles, fewer beetles appear in the following year, as there is too little prey to to ensure the development of all new larvae.

Ladybugs, and especially their larvae, are cannibals too . The animals eat each other, especially when there are crowds. The larvae that hatch first also regularly eat their not yet hatched conspecifics, which often means that more than half of the eggs are lost.



Ladybirds are widespread worldwide, but they mainly occur in the subtropics and tropics or in Africa , Asia , America , Australia and various tropical islands. In the colder regions of America and Asia and also in Europe , they are represented rather poorly because they prefer warm climates. This can also be seen in the relatively species-rich south of Europe compared to the north.


They colonize forests , meadows , dry grassland , moors and heaths , but also parks and gardens. Their habitats often depend heavily on the plants they need and the food available there. The heather ladybird ( Coccinella hieroglyphica ) can only live where the heather grows. The fourteen-point ladybugs, on the other hand, can adapt to many different habitats.

There are basically three habitat types per species:

  • that of the development of the larvae that need certain food on certain plants,
  • that of the development of the adults, which often corresponds to that of the larvae, but is different in pollen-eating species,
  • that of wintering, which is often far removed from the habitat of development.

In Europe there are also various species that normally do not find ideal conditions there, as they are used to either colder or warm climates. These species then occur only locally in warm, sunny places ( Scymnus subvillosus ) or in cool places such as around moors ( seven-point flat ladybird ( Hippodamia septemmaculata )).

Other species, such as Rhyzobius chrysomeloides , which occurs in Eastern Europe , Spain and Italy , and the single-colored ladybird ( Rhyzobius litura ), which is native to Western Europe and Greece , are mutually exclusive ( vicariance ).

Hiking trains

Asian ladybird ( Harmonia axyridis ) wings
Another rush of ladybirds on the Baltic Sea in August 2009

The beetles make different types of flights. On the one hand, these are short while foraging for food, on the other hand, also those that extend over very long distances to fly to the wintering places. If they cannot find enough food in a certain area, they will also make flights in large flocks. During their long-haul flights, they are dependent on the wind and can only influence the direction of flight to a limited extent. They orientate themselves optically or by climatic factors. In Europe you can rarely see such migrations. They mostly take place on the coast. Some species (such as Spiladelpha barovskii ) cannot fly at all. There are also European species, such as Rhyzobius litura , in which only a small proportion (about seven percent) develop fully functional wings. The development depends on the habitat of the animals. In Great Britain, for example, the wings of the twenty-four spotted ladybirds are significantly less developed than those of the southern and eastern European animals. One reason for this is the varying degrees of risk of parasite infestation.

The beetles can swim passively through the air space under the wings and are sometimes drifted far by floods (especially in winter). If they are blown into the open sea by the wind and then land in the water, they can be washed back to the beaches in large flocks. That can be quite impressive. However, waves that are too high do not give the animals a chance, of which only a small proportion survive the dangers of the water, the surf, the sand and the scarcity of fresh water. In 1989 a huge swarm of seven-point ladybirds was blown ashore by the wind on the Baltic Sea . Since they were all bright colors, it could be seen that they had just hatched. They probably started from Denmark, about 40 km away . Approximately 27 to 78 million individuals were estimated within three hours. These then settled in large numbers of over 1100 animals per m² in prominent places. Several days later, an estimated 10 to 20 million animals were still to be found near the beach, which began to eat each other due to a lack of food and water. By pinching the skin, they even drove away the bathers. A similarly strong ladybug invasion occurred in late July / early August 2009 in the Baltic Sea.

Reproduction and development

Ladybugs mating (1 minute 16 seconds, 4.72 MB)
Seven point in mating
Ladybird laying eggs
Asiatic ladybird larva ( Harmonia axyridis )
Size of the eggs in a clutch compared to a match head
Freshly hatched larvae with clutches


The ladybird pairs start copulating immediately after overwintering . This often covers a period of 0.5 to 18 hours, but it is not very spectacular. The tip of the penis guide groove is used to hook into the eighth and ninth female sternites in order to push the last sternites apart. This allows the male's penis to enter. The couple is very strongly attached to one another. Three spermatophores are transferred. After mating, the male is released from the female either with his hind legs or by rolling sideways. Although one mating is sufficient to mate the female permanently, up to 20 more are often performed with other males. In most species, the sperm are kept by the female in a spermatheca ( Receptaculum seminis ). In Stethorus punctillum this is missing, which is why new partners are necessary over the entire fertile period for further fertilization of the ripening eggs.

High temperatures have an impact on the mating behavior of certain species: The genus Aphidecta then multiplies explosively. However, population dynamics are not only dependent on temperature. For example, the mating activities of the two-spotted ladybird ( Adalia bipunctata ) decline in summer despite increased daytime temperatures. This reduces the infestation of the beetle by the parasitic mite Coccipolipus hippodamiae , which is transmitted and spread during mating and can lead to sterility of the females.


From the end of April to the beginning of May, the female ladybirds lay up to 400 eggs, depending on the species in portions of 10 to 60 pieces or individually, on plants close to suitable food. This usually happens on the underside of the leaf or in rows on needles or in cracks in the bark . The color and shape of the eggs is very different depending on the species. The length varies between 0.4 and 2 millimeters and the shape is either slim, normal or stocky. The Epilachna argus differ with their elongated, pointed eggs. Except for those of the Epilachninae, all of the eggs are without structure. Their coloration is usually light yellow to orange, with the black ball ladybug ( Stethorus punctillum ) white-gray.

Their development depends, among other things, on temperature and humidity and is completed after about five to eight days. If the temperature sinks below the tolerance value (with Stethorus punctillum approx. 12 ° C) growth stops. Shortly before hatching, the larva can be recognized through the thin membrane ( chorion ). In order to free themselves from the egg, the larvae of many species are equipped with egg teeth on the head, back and prothorax that are only shed during the first molt. You will need about an hour to open the egg and another hour to finally get rid of it.

Development of the larva

The hatched larvae develop within 30 to 60 days. During their development they molt three to four times, depending on the species. Their growth is different depending on the part of the body, and the bristles and coloration are different in the various stages. When they are fully grown, they glue the abdomen to leaves, twigs, trunks or bark with the help of a secretion . They shed their skin again afterwards and push the skin back to the attachment point on the plant. They pupate in a mummy, which is not typical for beetles. Your limbs and antennae are not exposed, but are glued to the body. The color of the doll varies between dark, light, red-brown or gray and is influenced by the ambient temperature. The freshly skinned pupa begins to curl up in its further development and to become stronger in color, before the finished beetle hatches from it after six to nine days. Here, too, the development depends on the temperature and humidity. Initially, the newly hatched beetles are still brightly colored, but they acquire their actual color after a few hours. It can take up to a year from the larva to the fully trained ladybird.

Ladybugs in different stages

The larvae all live on plants and chase after their prey (especially plant lice ) or eat powdery mildew or mold.

A ladybug newly hatched from its pupa and two or four hours later

Multiplication and Life Expectancy

The ladybirds in Central Europe usually reproduce twice a year, so that the second generation hatches in July or August and hibernates before laying their eggs again in spring. The ladybirds of Central Europe usually live for a year and hibernate only once. At fourteen-point ladybugs and Asian ladybugs already two winters were observed.


Ladybugs hibernate in a window frame

The beetles like to overwinter in large groups ( aggregation ) and can become very annoying, especially between double windows. Above all, louse-eating species, whose prey only appears briefly, form large aggregations, also in order to bridge the shortage of food or hot summers with dormancy . Before they go to sleep, they accumulate fat , lipids and glycogen in their bodies to feed on while they rest. In California , an estimated 42 million animals of the species Hippodamia convergens have already been sighted at a wintering site . However, these are isolated cases.

They rarely hibernate individually. Usually this happens in the aggregation described above or in small groups on the ground, under stones, bark or leaves, in moss or in grass.


Sometimes it happens that closely related species cross with each other. This occurs, for example, in Central Asia near Tashkent , where the distribution areas of the streaked ladybird Chilocorus bipustulatus and Ch. Geminus overlap. Basically, if the crossed offspring develop and are viable at all, they are sterile and cannot produce any offspring themselves. They often have a peculiar drawing that more or less resembles the two mixed species.


With the ladybirds there are four different possibilities of generational succession ( voltinism ):

  • univoltine species: Their reproduction takes place in summer, after a possible summer rest the animals hibernate. Most of the Central European species belong to them.
  • bivoltine species: They have two generations per year, the second of which hatches either shortly after the first generation or only after the summer dormancy. In Europe these are temporarily Adalia bipunctata or Coccinella septempunctata .
  • polyvoltine species with diapause: Here many generations occur each year, which then hibernate. They occur in warm areas where there is winter.
  • polyvoltine species: They continuously bring forth new generations where there are no seasons. They live in the tropics and warm areas such as India , Florida, and Hawaii .

Natural enemies

Ladybugs have numerous predators such as birds , lizards , shrews , frogs , spiders and other insects (especially ground beetles and predatory bugs ).

In addition, they serve as hosts of parasitoids , especially from the hymenoptera group . Some species of ladybirds have a special enemy, the ladybird brackish wasp ( Dinocampus coccinellae ). With its laying apparatus, the brackish wasp lays an egg under the beetle's wing. The hatched larva feeds on the body fluids and fat tissue of the beetle in order to grow parasitically in it . It even hibernates with him and doesn't kill him until the following spring by eating his vital organs. Then it breaks through the shell and pupates under the dead beetle. Also jewel wasps of the family of Encyrtidae , especially the genus Homalotylus , set the beetles to parasitic. The larvae cannot pupate, they dry up and are eaten from within. Other parasites such as mites and roundworms only weaken the beetles or simply use them as transport hosts.

Ants try to drive the beetles away from the aphid colonies they care for. The beetles and larvae are largely protected by their wax layer, sluggish behavior and thorns or their hemispherically curved and smooth bodies, but they are sometimes pushed off the leaves or sometimes even killed. Most vulnerable, however, are the eggs that are exposed to the enemy without protection.

The beetles can also become infected with viruses , bacteria and fungi , resulting in a high death rate during hibernation.

The ladybug and the human

The ladybug is valued for its usefulness and is considered a symbol of luck. That is why it is a popular motif on greeting cards, postage stamps and in art. The name ladybird also indicates this: Because of their usefulness for agriculture , the farmers believed that the beetles were a gift from the Virgin Mary and named her after her. The seven-point ladybug is called “Mary's key maid” in Sweden . The seven points are meant to relate to the seven virtues of the Virgin Mary. Today the symbol of luck is in the foreground. In Provence , a man is about to get married if a beetle lands on him. If the women are impatient, they put a beetle on their index finger and count the seconds until departure. Every second means waiting a year before the wedding.

GDR postage stamp

The reasons why the seven-spotted ladybug is the best-known and most popular beetle species range from its frequency within a period of thousands of years, its striking coloring, its ability to fly and increased mobility on warm human skin, the number seven as a sacred symbol and the Association of the color red with love.

There are over 1500 regional names for the ladybug, mostly referring to the seven-point ladybug. Here are some examples:

  • Mariechenkäfer is the Berlin variant of the name
  • Lady beetle , mother of god beetle (in British English the beetle is called ladybird (originally ladybird beetle ) and in American English ladybug ); my wife and lady also Maria
  • Herrgottskäfer, God's beetle, Herrgottwürmchen for references to God, an evangelically motivated avoidance of Mary
  • Herrgottssöönken, little mother of God, little Jesus beetle, as (evangelical) references to Jesus Christ instead of Mary
  • Heavenly beetles, an evangelically motivated avoidance of Maria
  • Ankenkäfer (Anken: "Butter"), perhaps with reference to fertility
  • Lice eater, aphid beetle, Huppawermel (hop worm) for references to the aphid diet
  • Cockchafer (not to be confused with the actual cockchafer )
  • June beetles (not to be confused with the scarab beetles known as June beetles)
  • Catherine beetles and the like, perhaps because Saint Catherine is said to have an influence on the weather
  • Glückskäferle, Brautmaneke (bridesmaid)
  • Sun beetle
  • Himmelmiezel, Himmelmietzchen ( Saxony , Ore Mountains ); the name probably alludes to its usefulness comparable to cats
  • Rotkalbl, Bluthienla, yellow hens, golden sheep, sleet cats, Sprinzerl-Spranzerl for references to the coloring and the spots
  • Motschekiebchen, Mutschekiebchen or Motscheküpchen (actually "cow calf"); also Mufferküpchen or Muhküpchen ( Thuringia ) or Muhküfchen ( Northern Hesse ), little Marienkälfchen, little calves of God, little sons of God for references to the farm animal cow
  • Olichsvöjelche ("little oil bird"), because of reflex bleeding
  • Flimmflammche (Lower Rhine)

The incorrect name "Mari (e) nenkäfer" is also common.

The scientific name Coccinellidae is derived from “scarlet colored” (Latin coccinus , coccineus ) or “dressed in scarlet” ( coccinātus ). The Latin origin of the name can also be found in French coccinelle and Italian coccinella .

Probably the oldest evidence of a symbol of happiness is an approx. 20,000 year old, 1.5 cm tall ladybird carved from ivory mammoth , which was probably carried around the neck through a hole with a cord. It was found in Laugerie-Basse in the Dordogne department ( France ).

The seven-point ladybird was the insect of the year 2006 in Germany and Austria .

Ladybug in the seal

Numerous poets have already written texts with or about ladybugs. The poem "Marienwürmchen" from " Des Knaben Wunderhorn " by Achim von Arnim and Clemens Brentano is well known :

Marian worms sit
on my hand,
I will not harm you.
You shouldn't feel sorry for anything,
just want to see your colorful wings,
colorful wings my joy.

Marian worms fly away,
your house is on fire,
the children scream so dearly.
The angry spider is spinning you,
lady worms, fly in,
your children scream.

Marienworm, fly over to the
neighbour's child, '
they won't harm you.
You shouldn't be sorry,
they want to see your colorful wings,
and say hello to both of them.

The Brothers Grimm also wrote about the "Marienwürmchen":

There is much active custom in other amusements of children. You put the beautiful, brightly dotted Marienwmchen on your fingertips and let it crawl up and down until it flies away. They sing:

Marienwormchen, fly away, fly away!
your house is on fire! the children scream!

The pest controller

Ladybirds have always been a popular pest control . That is why they were imported from different parts of the world in order to combat other unintentionally introduced species. In 1889 imported the Australian ladybug Rodolia cardinalis to California to the originating also from Australia Schildlaus Icerya purchasi that in citrus orchards raged to fight. That was the first success for biological pest control. To date, over 500 million ladybugs of this species have been bred and released in California. The seven-spotted ladybird was introduced to the USA in 1973 and is now widespread almost everywhere. In Europe, the Asian ladybird ( Harmonia axyridis ) was also introduced for pest control. That happened in the US and Canada too .

The introduction of species into ecosystems that are alien to them often creates problems that cannot be foreseen in advance. It is also unpredictable what consequences it will have to use the beetles in greenhouses , since these are not hermetically sealed and beetles can escape from them. In favor of using natural predators for pest control, however, is that this is more sustainable, since the use of commercially available chemical pest control agents, for example to control aphids, also contributes to the decimation of the (useful) ladybird.

Problems also arise when the beetles migrate when the density of prey is too low. The plantations and fields on which the animals are used must be heavily infested so that the beetles have an interest in staying.

The beetle as a pest

Of the three herbivorous species in Central Europe, only the twenty-four spotted ladybird can occasionally appear as a pest. Most of the damage is recorded in southern, warm countries, where the beetles produce up to three generations per year. They damage alfalfa and sugar beet in particular , but also clover , potatoes , cloves and dahlias . Especially in cultivated flowers, traces of feeding can prevent the sale of the plants. Epilachna varivestis is a feared pest on bean crops in Mexico . The species could not be contained by poisons or parasites, only the use of chemosterilants , which render the males sterile, proved successful.

Hazard and protection

Some species of ladybugs, especially those that rely on special habitats, are endangered. The reason is not only that their habitat is gradually being blocked, they also react much more sensitively to toxins than, for example, aphids, which can quickly balance populations through their rapid reproduction. This is because they ingest large numbers of poisoned prey and are exposed to much higher doses. Species that colonize either heat islands or moors and heaths are particularly endangered, along with their habitats.

Because many species specialize in certain habitats and environmental conditions, they are also good bioindicators that show whether certain habitats (such as heaths, dry grasslands and bogs) are in an ecologically good condition.

The spruce ball ladybug is one of the endangered species in some federal states. Together with 20 other ladybird species out of a total of 65 living in Saxony-Anhalt , it is included in the Red List of this federal state. In Bavaria there are also around 20 species on the red list. There are currently 18 in the Austrian state of Burgenland .


Fourteen point with variable coloring

Relationship to other beetle families

Within the superfamily Cucujoidea the family of ladybugs (Coccinellidae) is closest to the decaying wood beetles used (Corylophidae). They not only associate similarities in habitus with them, but also in the development of the larvae. They are also related to the stubber beetles (Endomychidae). The main distinguishing feature between these two families is the tubular elongated, curved part of the male sex organ ( sipho ) and the lack of the bridge of the tentorium , a skeletal structure in the head.

Differences between the subfamilies

Until recently, the family was divided into eight subfamilies. Based on the latest molecular biological investigations, it is assumed that the family consists of only two subfamilies, the Microweiseinae and the Coccinellinae . The former include parts of the former subfamily Sticholotidinae, the latter includes the remaining Sticholotidinae, the former subfamilies Chilocorinae, Coccidulinae, Scymninae, Ortaliinae and Epilachninae, which now occupy the rank of Triben.

Taxonomy of the ladybird family

The species diversity of European ladybirds is great and includes 75 genera, with over 250 species and subspecies. Ladybirds are represented worldwide with over 6000 species in 360 genera . The subfamily Microweiseinae comprises only 150 species in 23 genera. The remaining species, including all native to Europe, belong to the subfamily Coccinellinae .

This list includes examples of some species from the subfamily Coccinellinae:


  • Heinz Freude, KW Harde, GA Lohse: Beetles of Central Europe. Vol. 1-15. Spectrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 1979, ISBN 3-8274-0680-3
  • Bernhard Klausnitzer , Hertha Klausnitzer: Ladybirds (Coccinellidae). Westarp Sciences, Magdeburg 1997, ISBN 3-89432-812-6
  • Claudia Bucheli Berger, Christoph Landolt : Dialect and denomination in German-speaking Switzerland. In: Elisabeth Frieben, Ulrich Kanz, Barbara Neuber, Ludwig Zehetner (eds.): Dialect and religion. Contributions to the 5th dialectological symposium in the Bavarian Forest, Walderbach, June 2012. Regensburg 2014 (Regensburger Dialektforum 20), pp. 73–94 ( digitized version ). [With a chapter on the ladybug.]
  • Volker Nötzold: Ladybird, identification key . Youth Association for Nature Observation, Hamburg 1997, ISBN 3-923376-20-0

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Roland Knauer: The lucky charms bite in: Die Zeit online . Retrieved August 19, 2009
  2. Christina Schallenberg: Lively partner exchange with the ladybird. (image of science), October 25, 2005.
  3. K. Mary Webberley, Jaroslaw Buszko, Valery Isham, Gregory DD Hurst: Sexually transmitted disease epidemics in a natural insect population. Journal of Animal Ecology, 75, 1, pp. 33-43, January 2006 doi: 10.1111 / j.1365-2656.2005.01020.x
  4. M. Arbabi and J. Singh: Biology of Stethorus punctillum, a potential predator of Tetranychus ludeni. Tunisian Journal of Plant Protection, 3, pp. 95-100, 2008.
  5. Red list of ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) of the State of Saxony-Anhalt, 2nd version, status February 2004 Reports of the State Office for Environmental Protection Saxony-Anhalt 39, 2004.
  6. Jürgen Schmidl, Jens Esser: Red List of Endangered Cucujoidea (Coleoptera: "Clavicornia") Bavaria. (PDF; 59 kB) 2003, accessed on June 5, 2018 .
  7. a b Richard AB Leschen, Rolf G. Beutel, John F. Lawrence: Handbuch der Zoologie - Coleoptera, Beetles, Volume 2: Morphology and Systematics (Elateroidea, Bostrichiformia, Cucujiformia partim) . de Gruyter, 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-019075-5 (English).

Web links

Wiktionary: Ladybug  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Ladybug  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on May 23, 2006 in this version .