Fig 1

DESCRIPTION: Size up to 8mm in length. The pronotum is black with white antero-lateral marks. The elytra are bright red and sport a number of black spots ranging from 5 to 11 with 7 the most common. The legs are black and on the underside there are white triangular marks below the middle and front legs. BEHAVIOUR: The adults and larvae are predators of aphids, scale insects, mites, and insect eggs. The greedy larvae can eat about 400 medium size aphids during its development to pupal stage. Scarce 7-spots have been recorded from various plants including gorse, thistles and heather, but are most commonly found on Scots pine.  DISTRIBUTION: Primarily this a southern species with the odd record reaching up to the midlands.  The overall distribution is scattered due to its niche requirements. HABITAT: This species is usually found in woodland and heathland close to Wood Ant nests. PERIOD: Can be seen all year round but they are best found when active, usually between April and September.

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