- Common name(s)
- 14-spot Ladybird
- Scientific name
- Propylea quattuordecimounctata
- When to see it
- Year round
The 14-spot Ladybird is a yellow ladybird with distinctive rectangular black spots that are commonly fused together. This species is found in many habitats including grassland, mature woodland and agricultural land.
Adults have yellow elytra (wing case) with distinctive rectangular black spots. These spots are commonly fused together and so the black markings can be extensive. Some of these fused spots can form a distinctive ‘smiley face’ marking in the middle of the body. The pronotum (behind the head) is yellow or cream with black spots. These black spots can be fused to become trapezium- or ‘crown’-shaped. Its legs are brown. This species is 3.5mm to 4.5mm in length.
The late-stage larvae have long legs and distinctive markings. The body is largely grey-brown with cream patches on the body. There are also cream markings running down the middle of the body.
The pupae are pale brown. There are darker markings on the thorax and abdomen. There is also a band of yellow-cream spots.
The 22-spot Ladybird is another yellow ladybird species. However, the 22-spot Ladybird is brighter yellow, its spots more circular in shape and rarely fused together. The 22-spot Ladybird is a target species of the North East Ladybird Spot and its species profile can be found here.
This species feeds on aphids and is commonly found on low herbaceous vegetation. The 14-spot Ladybird occupies a great range of habitats including grassland, mature woodland and scrub. It is also commonly found on crops and is considered a very importance aphid predator in agriculture. In gardens, roses, cultivated beans and Blackcurrant are popular host plants.
The 14-spot Ladybird commonly overwinters on low herbage.
The 14-spot Ladybird is found in Northumberland and County Durham with fewer records further north in Northumberland and upland areas. Nationally, this species is one of the commonest ladybirds but with few Scottish records.