A small, variable species of ladybird, common but not often seen.
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.
This species has been seen at the following sites featured on the Nature of Dorset:
This map shows the nature reserves and 'hot-spots' featured on the Nature of Dorset where this species has been seen. Obviously it will occur in other places too but this is intended to give you a graphical guide as to the species distribution in Dorset. Click any marker to see the name of the site; you can then click again to see more information about that site.
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This website has been created by, and is the copyright of, Peter Orchard, Wareham, Dorset. The website is run as a hobby and the information is made available free of charge to anyone who finds it useful. No responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions in the data and information supplied. Copyright of all photographs on this website (unless otherwise stated) remains with the publisher or the contributor and they should not be used by others for any purpose without permission.
Please note that the data on this website is not the result of scientific research, it is a collection of random observations made by a very amateur enthusiast. The species database covers everything from mammals to fungi and no one can be an expert in all of these taxa and much of the identification is restricted by the quality of reference material available. One person cannot possibly produce the definitive guide to the nature of Dorset and so species lists will be incomplete and there will be reserves not covered but as time goes by so the database will grow and (depending on health and the weather) the content will become more comprehensive as time passes.
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