14-spot Ladybird

Propylea 14-punctata

  1. Wildlife
  2. Invertebrates
  3. Beetles
  4. 14-spot Ladybird

About

The 14-spot Ladybird is a medium-sized ladybird found in a wide variety of habitats, particularly grassland, woodland edge, towns and gardens. Both adults and larvae feed on aphids, making them a friend in the garden. The 14-spot Ladybird has a long hibernation period, emerging as late as May to breed. Its bright colouration is a warning to predators that it is distasteful, although some birds may still have a go at eating it.

How to identify

The 14-spot Ladybird is bright yellow with up to 14 rectangular black spots on the wing cases; these spots are variable in shape and may become fused to create a chequered pattern. It can be distinguished from the smaller 22-spot Ladybird (the only other yellow and black ladybird) by its more rectangular, merging spots.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August

How can people help

Many of our commonly overlooked insects are actually important pest controllers in the garden: ladybirds love hunting down aphids, for instance. You can provide a home in your garden for hibernating ladybirds by drilling holes into a log or block of wood, or by filling an old tin can with short lengths of cane so that their hollow insides are visible. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
14-spot Ladybird
Latin name
Propylea 14-punctata
Category
Invertebrates
Beetles
Statistics
Length: 4-5mm
Conservation status
Common.