A small, variable species of ladybird, common but not often seen.
Fourteen-spot Ladybird: the smiling dog - Some creatures you cannot miss when out for a walk but others are so small that you could certainly be forgiven for never seeing them. Even if you do see them you then need the advantage of a close up camera lens can enable you to see exactly what it is. This is certainly the case with little chap!
The fourteen-spot ladybird (Propylea 14-punctata) is only about 3mm long and they spend their lives on the leaves of shrubs and large leaved plants. Spotting one is usually pure chance, a tiny blob of yellow on a green leaf. Quite often then will be hidden from view anyway as well as being tiny. They are, however, quite common even if not commonly seen.
To add to the difficulties they can vary from almost entirely yellow to almost completely black, finding one that is mostly black is even more difficult as at least the yellow ones do show up against their background. The black spots are variable too, often merging together so they do not always appear to have fourteen spots. In the text-book format, however, they have a pattern that resembles a smiling dog!
Although much smaller and mainly yellow it is a relative of our more familiar 7-spot ladybird.
|Common Name||14-spot Ladybird|
|Scientific Name||Propylea 14-punctata|
|Family||Ladybirds and Carpet Beetles|
|Species Reference||Brock 172.11|