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UK Nature  > Ladybirds  > Propylea quattuordecimpunctata

  • Adult
  • Another adult, showing variation in markings
  • Larva

Scientific Name:   Propylea quattuordecimpunctata
Common Name:   14-Spot Ladybird

Propylea quattuordecimpunctata, more commonly known as the 14-spot ladybird, is the most common of the yellow and black ladybirds, though there is much variation in the amount of each colour and the shape of the spots. The ground colour of the 14 Spot ranges from almost white to deep yellow.

Markings on the elytra are invariably angular in appearance, and linked to form a complex pattern; however, the suture between the elytra is always black. Found on a wide variety of wayside plants and shrubs, and almost as many will be found on trees. If handled they exude orange liquid from their joints. This is actually a form of controlled bleeding which stains the hands and is very pungent.

Adults and larvae feed on aphids and are useful in keeping these down. Widespread and fairly common in southern and central England and Wales, adults are usually active from April to September.
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