A widespread and common species mostly associated with coniferous or mixed woodland, especially where the Scots Pine is present. Generally insectiverous, when coniferous aphids become scarce the ladybird will spread to other species e.g. Oak or Sycamore, but it will also take pollen or nectar as food if this becomes necessary. Overwinters as an adult, overwintering site unknown but during March 1981 we found a single specimen alive under a Hydrangea bush in a garden in Ruislip, earlier that same month an adult was found in the bark of a nearby peach sapling rich in flower buds. Although easy to see when active the insect is very difficult to spot when resting on pine twigs near the base of the leaves. Unmistakable. Glabrous, at least 5.5mm. Orange or red but sometimes darker, almost maroon, normally with 18 black marks, some or all of which may be edged yellow or cream. Number of spots can vary from 0 to 22 and some of these may be fused, there is a very rare melanic form (F. hebraea). Pronotal pattern distinctive. Elytra less than twice as long as broad and scutellum obvious when they are closed. Antennal sockets visible from in front, antennae longer than width of head and with club longer than broad. Claws appear single; the first is long and pointed while the second is much shorter and truncate.
Coniferous woods of Europe