Propylea quatuordecimpunctata

Geographic Range

Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, commonly known as fourteen-spotted lady beetles, are native to the Palearctic. They were introduced to North America. Fourteen-spotted lady beetles have established a range throughout the eastern portion of the United States. (Hoebeke and Wheeler Jr., 1996; Krafsur and Obrycki, 1996)


Fourteen-spotted lady beetles live in a variety of habitats, such as gardens, fields, and lawns. They are only found in temperate regions. (Papanikolaou, et al., 2013)

Physical Description

Fourteen-spotted lady beetles are between 3.5-5.2 mm in length. A sexually dimorphic species, male fourteen-spotted lady beetles have yellow heads with a black vertex, while females have a large black spot. They are yellow in color with fourteen irregular black spots. Females have more black coloring than males. Larvae are black in color with white markings. They have six legs. (Gordon, 1985; Stellwag and Losey, 2014)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes colored or patterned differently


Fourteen-spotted lady beetles go through four instars. Larvae feed on aphids for 8-10 days before pupating. They undergo metamorphosis in order to become adults. It takes about 4-5 days. Temperature impacts development. (Hoebeke and Wheeler Jr., 1996)


Fourteen spotted lady beetles lay eggs within the first two weeks of their adult life. (Phoofolo and Obrycki, 2000)

Fourteen-spotted lady beetles do not use parental involvement when raising their young. (Papanikolaou, et al., 2013)

  • Parental Investment
  • no parental involvement


Temperature impacts the longevity of fourteen-spotted lady beetles. Colder temperatures enable them to live for longer periods. Warmer temperatures reduce their lifespans. At 17°C, female fourteen-spotted lady beetles may live for around 120 days. At 30°C, they may live only 30 days. (Papanikolaou, et al., 2013)

  • Range lifespan
    Status: wild
    30 to 123 days


Fourteen-spotted lady beetles mostly live on the ground. They can fly and move around easily. They hibernate through the winter. (Gordon, 1985)

Communication and Perception

Fourteen spotted lady beetles mostly communicate through pheromones. They use visual, tactile, and chemical senses of perception. (Stellwag and Losey, 2014)

Food Habits

Fourteen-spotted lady beetles primarily hunt and feed on aphids like Russian wheat aphids, lupin aphids, potato aphids, and green peach aphids. They also feed on greenbugs. (Finlayson, et al., 2010; Krafsur and Obrycki, 1996)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects

Ecosystem Roles

Fourteen-spotted lady beetles feed on aphids. By doing so, they benefit the crop plants that aphids destroy. They are significant predators of crop pests. (Hoebeke and Wheeler Jr., 1996)

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Fourteen-spotted lady beetles hunt and feed on crop pests like aphids. They were introduced to America to help control populations of greenbugs. (Krafsur and Obrycki, 1996)

  • Positive Impacts
  • controls pest population

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known negative impacts on humans.

Conservation Status


Deena Hauze (author), Animal Diversity Web Staff.



living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.

World Map


living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.

World Map


an animal that mainly eats meat


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


a period of time when growth or development is suspended in insects and other invertebrates, it can usually only be ended the appropriate environmental stimulus.

  1. active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.

union of egg and spermatozoan


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


the state that some animals enter during winter in which normal physiological processes are significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements. The act or condition of passing winter in a torpid or resting state, typically involving the abandonment of homoiothermy in mammals.


An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body


referring to animal species that have been transported to and established populations in regions outside of their natural range, usually through human action.


A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.


This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.


chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


lives alone


uses touch to communicate


that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


uses sight to communicate


Finlayson, C., A. Alyokhin, S. Gross, E. Porter. 2010. Differential Consumption of Four Aphid Species by Four Lady Beetle Species. Journal of Insect Science, 10: 31.

Gordon, R. 1985. The Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) of America North of Mexico. Journal of the New York Entomological Society, 93(1): 1-912. Accessed October 15, 2020 at


Krafsur, E., J. Obrycki. 1996. Gene flow in the exotic 14-spotted ladybird beetle, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata. Genome, 39(1): 131-139.

Papanikolaou, N., P. Milonas, D. Kontodimas, N. Demiris. 2013. Temperature-Dependent Development, Survival, Longevity, and Fecundity of Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 106(2): 228-234. Accessed October 15, 2020 at

Pervez, A., O. Omkar. 2011. Ecology of aphidophagous ladybird Propylea species: A review. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 14(3): 357-365.

Phoofolo, M., J. Obrycki. 2000. Demographic analysis of reproduction in Nearctic and Palearctic populations of Coccinella septempunctata and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata. BioControl, 45: 25-43.

Stellwag, L., J. Losey. 2014. Sexual Dimorphism in North American Coccinellids: Sexing Methods for Species of Coccinella L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and Implications for Conservation Research. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 68(2): 271-281. Accessed October 15, 2020 at

Stewart, L., J. Hemptinne, A. Dixon. 1991. Reproductive Tactics of Ladybird Beetles: Relationships Between Egg Size, Ovariole Number and Developmental Time. Functional Ecology, 5(3): 380-385. Accessed October 15, 2020 at