Coccinella on a nettle (by Ecoikos)

Lady beetle on a stinging nettle

Coccinellidae, better known as ladybirds (UK and Commonwealth) and ladybugs (USA) or lady beetles are both very pretty and very useful insects. The common European coccinella semtempunctata (seven-spotted ladybug) shown here will catch and eat up to 5000 aphids (plant parasites) during her life.

In this photo, it has landed on a leaf of a vigorous stinging nettle (urtica dioica) which, to her dismay, is void of parasites. A missed brunch!

Location: Castano Primo, Lombardy region, Italy. Summer 2007.

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