The Fourteen-spotted Ladybug is a mosaic masterpiece of a beetle and today’s topic of conversational caretaking!
With its characteristic spotted wings and inquisitive gaze, this small bug is a popular addition to many setups, and this care guide will explain all you need to know to properly care for this type of ladybug.
From choosing the right habitat, understanding nutritional needs, and breeding and reproducing, this article will teach you everything you need to know about Propylea quatuordecimpunctata care.
So, let’s get started!
|Common Name||Fourteen-spotted Ladybug|
|Scientific Name||Propylea quatuordecimpunctata|
|Use||Pest Control, Pets|
|Adult Size||3.5-5.2 mm|
|Breeding Type||Egg Layer|
|Minimum Tank Size||5 Gallon|
What Are Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs?
Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs, scientifically known as Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, belong to the family Coccinellidae.
They get their common name from their unique spotted wings, which are often in a four-by-four pattern and have 14 spots in total.
In terms of size, four-spotted ladybugs measure only between a few millimeters in length.
They have oval-shaped body and can be usually found in bright colors such as red, orange, black, and yellow.
These ladybugs are native to Europe and North America, and as of late, have been found in other parts of the world as well.
What Do Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs Look Like?
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata is small, elongated beetles that measure up to 5.2 millimeters long, where their heads and thorax are curly yellow and their wing covers are a deep red.
They have 14 spots arranged in 4 rows running down their back that provide them with camouflage in their natural environment.
They have large eyes and a curved black projection on each side of the head that is their antennae, which are used to sense their environment.
Benefits Of Using Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs
The Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs make a great addition to vivariums due to their unique beauty and gentle demeanor.
Thanks to their vibrant colors and spotted wings, these bugs add a touch of flare to any living space.
Plus, they are relatively easy to care for. Unlike many other bugs, they do not require to be overfed or over-handled.
They also have a diet that is easily managed and made up of specially formulated foods and objects.
By sometimes feeding on plants, they help prevent them from becoming overgrown and unruly.
This allows the other organisms in the enclosure to thrive.
Fourteen-spotted Ladybug Facts
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata is a small, spotted insect that is native to North America.
Generally peaceful and docile, these bugs are easy to care for and live an average of about a year.
The most natural diet for these bugs consists of small insects and plant matter.
Breeding season can come during late spring and early summer, with one adult potentially producing up to 50 eggs in a lifetime.
The Fourteen-spotted Ladybug is native to Europe but is found throughout many parts of the world, including North America.
They inhabit meadows, fields, gardens, and other grassy areas, although they can also be found in urban environments.
These bugs live in areas with abundant vegetation, so their natural habitat usually includes plenty of green plants and flowers.
They prefer to be around trees, shrubbery, and other foliage, where they can easily find plenty of insects to feed on and shelter from the elements.
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata also has a preference for moist environments, as this is necessary for them to reproduce.
In their natural habitat, they usually inhabit wetter areas and look for shelter in wet patches of plants, or near bodies of water like ponds and streams.
In their natural habitat, Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs feed on a wide variety of food sources, including aphids, scale insects, caterpillars, mealybugs, thrips, and even other ladybugs.
In some cases, they will also feed on plant nectar and pollen if available.
Additionally, these ladybugs supplement their diets with other insects such as spiders and mites.
As omnivorous predators, they have a voracious appetite and can consume large amounts of food in a single day.
Like with many predatory species, Fourteen-spotted ladybugs can quickly become overpopulated when there is an abundance of food available.
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata is generally peaceful by nature and is also quite friendly.
They do not show any aggression towards humans and animals and are often quite curious and attentive to new faces.
However, it is important to understand that fourteen-spotted ladybugs are flighty creatures who will tend to fly away when startled.
It is also best not to startle them by making sudden moves or loud noises.
Around other animals, Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs tend to be non-confrontational.
They are not easily intimidated by other animals and instead will most likely ignore them or stay away.
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata typically lives for an average of about a year.
Depending on the environment they reside in, they may live closer to the upper limit of more than a year.
In the summer, they reproduce and lay eggs between June and August.
After the eggs hatch, the larvae stage of the Fourteen-spotted Ladybug’s life cycle lasts from two to four weeks before it sheds its skin and matures into an adult.
The pupae stage of the beetle’s life cycle follows the adult stage and lasts from one to two weeks where the ladybug pupae rest and mature before it reaches adulthood.
During this time, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata is particularly vulnerable to predators and environmental disturbance.
Once the pupae stage is complete, the adult stage of the Fourteen-spotted Ladybug’s life cycle begins.
During this stage, the three to six spotted wings of the adult are fully developed and the ladybug is able to fly.
They remain in the adult stage for the rest of their lives until they die of natural causes, predation, or environmental disturbance.
Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs typically mate and reproduce during the summer months, although the exact timeline may vary depending on environmental factors.
The female ladybug will lay a cluster of eggs in an area covered with food or a well-protected space.
While Propylea quatuordecimpunctata has lifespans of only a few months, they can breed multiple times during their lifetimes and produce dozens of offspring.
To ensure a safe and healthy reproduction process, it’s essential to provide a consistent temperature for your lady beetles.
Additionally, keep an eye out for adult and immature predators that may threaten your ladybugs and their offspring.
Finally, make sure that P. quatuordecimpunctata has access to a variety of foods, such as aphids, grasshoppers, caterpillars, and other small insects, to make sure that they’re able to find the nutrients they need for successful mating.
Where To Find Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs
Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs can be found in many grassy, open areas all over the world.
They can also be found in gardens, meadows, and fields, especially if they are left undisturbed.
They tend to stand out with their brightly colored wings, so they can be easily spotted.
In some regions, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata can also be found for sale in pet and wildlife stores.
This is especially common in certain countries where regulations permit the keeping of these friendly insects.
However, ensure that all regulations in place are adhered to when purchasing any live insect as a pet.
Fourteen-spotted Ladybug Care
If you want to take care of Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs, it’s good practice to educate yourself on their characteristics and requirements.
Ensure they have a suitable living space, access to nourishing food, and a pest-free atmosphere.
Familiarize yourself with their reproductive cycle if you plan to breed them.
The ideal tank requirements for Propylea quatuordecimpunctata should include a small-to-medium-sized terrarium with a closed lid as this species is small and is an excellent climber.
To ensure a healthy environment, the water pH should be neutral, the hardness should not exceed 100 ppm, and the temperature should remain between 70-90F.
Finally, for terrarium lighting, you should provide shade and sun exposure via natural lighting or fluorescent lighting.
What Do Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs Eat?
Feeding your Fourteen-spotted Ladybug is an essential part of caring for them properly.
As with most insects and animals, it’s important to feed them a variety of different foods, as this will ensure that they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
Here’s a list of some of the best food items to feed Propylea quatuordecimpunctata:
- Fruits: apples, oranges, grapes, peaches, bananas, etc.
- Vegetables: carrots, celery, broccoli, spinach, kale, etc.
- Insects: aphids, mites, caterpillars, whitefly, and other small bugs
If you’re not sure what to offer your ladybird, you can also create a balanced bug diet using a combination of these foods.
Make sure to feed them only small amounts of food at once and always provide fresh, clean water.
If you’re looking for a more detailed approach to feeding these critters, be sure to check out my ultimate DIY ladybug food guide. I give a more in-depth explanation of the best foods and my favorite recipe.
Best Tankmates For Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs
Fourteen-spotted Ladybugs generally prefer to be kept alone, since they are solitary by nature.
For best results, choose species that have similar beneficial qualities such as pest control and pollination.
They also tend to help keep the humidity levels in the tank at an optimal level for all its inhabitants.
When looking to introduce new tankmates to Propylea quatuordecimpunctata, it is helpful to monitor their behavior to ensure they are both getting along.
If any of the tankmates are showing aggressive behavior or stress, then it is best to separate them to avoid any potential harm.
The Fourteen-spotted Ladybug is a unique and fascinating little creature that can be a delightful addition to many homes.
This care guide has provided a comprehensive overview of the necessary ingredients for providing your little friend with the best possible care.
With the knowledge provided here, we hope you’re well on your way to becoming a successful Propylea quatuordecimpunctata parent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fourteen-spotted ladybugs, like other ladybug species, primarily feed on aphids, scale insects, and other soft-bodied insects, making them beneficial predators for gardeners and farmers.
Fourteen spotted ladybugs (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata) are fairly common in certain parts of Europe, however, they are not as widespread as other species of ladybugs.