Length: 6-8 mm
This well-known beetle was named by Linnaeus himself. The species was introduced to eastern North America to help control aphids, and has spread to possibly every one of the forty-eight contiguous states, and from Manitoba to Nova Scotia.
The anterior margin of the pronotum is black at center and white at left and right. Each elytron has three black spots and there is one spot in the area of the scutellum that is shared between the two elytra.
Brown and Miller (1998) surveyed the literature to study the relative abundance of ladybird species in West Virginia apple orchards. Over a fourteen year period they found 29 species present in the orchards. Coccinella septempunctata was first collected in a West Virginia orchard in 1983, and by 1985 it was the dominant species of Coccinellini. In fact, during 1987 and 1988 it was the only member of the tribe Coccinellini seen.
The reign of Coccinella septempunctata as the most dominant orchard species was short-lived, however. Another exotic species, Harmonia axyridis, was first collected in a West Virginia apple orchard in 1994, and by 1995 Coccinella septempunctata "was reduced to the third most abundant species of Coccinellini behind H. axyridis and Coleomegilla maculata lengi" (Brown and Miller, 1998).
Harmonia axyridis has continued to dominate the West Virginia ladybird fauna, in apple orchards and elsewhere.
Insects of West Virginia