The 14-spotted Ladybird (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata) is a small lady beetle, belonging to the family Coccinellidae. It is sometimes referred to by the common name 14-spotted ladybird beetle, or simply P-14.
The beetles are 3.5 to 4.5 millimetres long and have an uncommon variety of forms. There are well over 100 different colour and pattern variations. Some differ to the extent that they are first considered separate species.
The background colour ranges from cream through yellow to light orange, but not red. Usually they have 14 black, almost rectangular spots on the elytra, but only rarely there are 14 separate spots. Most commonly, several of the spots fuse into larger markings, particularly along the midline, where they often create a shape resembling an anchor, sometimes fusing to such an extent that the yellow disappears almost completely as to render the body almost entirely black except for 12 pale yellow spots. The pronotum is whitish or pale yellow, with four to eight black spots. The antennae and legs are yellowish brown.
This species is native and widespread in the Old World, where it can be found from the southern countries up to the Arctic Circle and in Asia. It is found in Australia and is invasive in North America. These beetles live from lowlands to the subalpine areas, and can be found on deciduous trees and herbaceous plants in meadows and fields, forests, gardens and parks. A female lays about 400 eggs. This is necessary as there is often a high mortality among the larvae. The beetles overwinter twice.
This post is part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.