14-spot Ladybird

14-spot Ladybird ©Amy Lewis

14-spot Ladybird

Scientific name: Propylea quattuordecimpunctata
The 14-spot Ladybird is one of three yellow ladybirds in the UK. Look for it in grassland, woodland and gardens. Ladybirds are beneficial insects, managing garden pests - encourage them by putting up a bug box.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 4-5mm

Conservation status

Common.

When to see

May to August

About

The 14-spot Ladybird is a medium-sized ladybird found in a wide variety of habitats, particularly grassland, woodland edges, 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. The lifecycle of a ladybird consists of four phases: the egg; the larval stage, during which the larva undergoes a series of moults; the pupa, in which the larva develops into an adult; and the adult phase, during which the female lays eggs in batches of up to 40.

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, but similar, 22-spot Ladybird by its more rectangular, merging spots.

Distribution

Widespread.

Did you know?

The 14-spot Ladybird is one of just three yellow ladybirds that inhabit the UK. Its bright colouration is a warning to predators that it is distasteful, although some birds may still have a go at eating it.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? 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.