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Aphid Predator (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)

Coccinella quinquepunctata

Five-spot ladybird

On this page: Identification Biological Control & Distribution


Coccinella quinquepunctata is a medium-sized, quite rounded, domed ladybird with an adult body length of 3-5 mm (see first two pictures below). The elytra are red with a pair of large central black spots, two smaller postero-lateral spots and a single large black spot on the scutellum, the latter partially bordered with white patches. Rarely there may be up to four additional small spots. The pronotum is black with two antero-lateral white marks. The Coccinella quinquepunctata head is black with two small white marks.

First two images above in public domain, copyright pudding4brains under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 1.0 Unported License.
Third image above copyright Gilles San Martin under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License.

The fourth instar larva of Coccinella quinquepunctata is dark grey with mostly black tubercles. There are bright orange lateral patches on the prothorax, and the ventro-lateral tubercles on the metathorax are orange. There are also orange patches on the dorso-lateral and ventro-lateral tubercles on the first and fourth abdominal segments and on the dorsolateral tubercles of the sixth and seventh abdominal segments.

Biological control & Distribution

Coccinella quinquepunctata is found through most of Europe including Norway and Sweden, but there seems to be little information available on its distribution outside of Europe. In Britain they are restricted to vegetation on unstable river shingle. In continental Europe they occur in more varied habitats. The five-spot ladybird feeds on aphids on nettles, thistles and other low plants.


For coccinellid identification we have used Hackston for the key characteristics, together with the latest Wikipediaaccount for each species. For aphids we have made provisional identifications from photos of living specimens, along with host plant identity using the keys and species accounts of Blackman & Eastop (1994) and Blackman & Eastop (2006) supplemented with Blackman (1974), Stroyan (1977), Stroyan (1984), Blackman & Eastop (1984), Heie (1980-1995), Dixon & Thieme (2007) and Blackman (2010). We fully acknowledge these authors as the source for the (summarized) taxonomic information we have presented. Any errors in identification or information are ours alone, and we would be very grateful for any corrections. For assistance on the terms used for aphid morphology we suggest the figure provided by Blackman & Eastop (2006).

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