Length: 4 – 5mm. Background colour: red. Pattern colour: black spots. Number of spots: 7-11 (11). Spot fusions: uncommon. Melanic (black) forms: no. Pronotum: black with anterior-lateral white marks; broadest at base. Leg colour: black. Other features: black spots occasionally surrounded by a thin yellow ring.
Fourth-instar larva: closely resembles 7-spot ladybird, but smaller and without the conspicuous orange lateral patches on first thoracic segment; abdomen has orange spots in pairs on a grey-black background. Pupa: black front section but otherwise cream with inner tubercles on abdominal segments forming two dark bands running longitudinally; orange lateral patches on first abdominal segment; inner and outer tubercles on fourth abdominal segment also orange.
Habitats: The 11-spot ladybird is an elusive species that occupies a variety of habitats but particularly dune systems. The coastal nature of this species is further highlighted by the number of strandline records.
Host plants: 11-spot ladybirds are commonly associated with sea radish, nettle, gorse, rosebay willowherb and thistles. There are a scattering of records from deciduous trees including ash, beech, sycamore and oak.