Other Common Names
P-14; Chess-board Lady Beetle
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Linnaeus)
Orig. Comb: Coccinella quatuordecimpunctata Linnaeus 1758
Explanation of Names
quatourdecim, "fourteen" + punctata, "spotted" (refers to the 14 black spots on elytra)
Yellow elytra (wing covers) with rectangular black spots unlike any native North American lady beetle.
Head black with pale "face."
Pronotum (hard shell behind head) black with pale anterior and lateral border (front and sides).
Elytra usually with 14 black spots, but may be fused together near midline.
Larva: Black with white markings. White "face" and leg joints. Most important ID feature is small pointed projection from last abdominal segment:
adventive: WI-VA-NB-ON (BG data)
native to the Palaearctic, adventive and widespread in e. NA (southeastern Canada to Great Lakes and Florida), and still spreading; however, repeated intentional releases have not resulted in established populations(2)
gardens, lawns, fields, vacant lots
mostly: May-Aug (BG data)
This sp. has, among Coccinellidae, the minimum recorded time from deposition of egg the to emergence of the adult beetle of 12 days. (3)
Pale green eggs hatch into alligator-like black larvae with white markings. Larvae feed on aphids for 8-10 days and pupate. The adult beetle emerges 4-5 days later.
1. Egg. 2. First instar larva. 3. Later instar larva. 4. Pupa. 5. Adult
Repeated introduction attempts prior to the 1960s were unsuccessful. The first established population was accidentally introduced in the 1960s via European ships stopping at ports along the St. Lawrence River (first reported near Quebec City in 1968). During 1987-1993, more than half a million lab-reared individuals were released in 16 western US states to control the Russian Wheat Aphid
) but follow-up surveys have not detected any established populations.
Males and females can be told apart by the white markings on the head: males have solid white "face," females have a dark spot in the middle.
Larvae of Cycloneda munda and C. polita black with pale markings, but usually markings are both yellow-orange and white. Do not have small pointed projection at tip of abdomen. At the present time, range of C. polita and P. quatourdecimpunctata do not overlap.
Day, W.H., D.R. Prokrym, D.R. Ellis and R.J. Chianese. 1994. The known distribution of the predator Propylea quotuordecimpunctata (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the United States, and thoughts on the origin of this species and five other exotic lady beetles in eastern North America. Entomological News 105: 244-256.
Rogers, C.E., H.B. Jackson and R.D. Eikenbary. 1972. Responses of an imported coccinellid Propylea 14-punctata, to aphids associated with small grains in Oklahoma. Environmental Entomology 1: 198-202.