|Calvia quattuordecimguttata (Linnaeus, 1758)|
|Widely distributed throughout Britain and common in a wide
range of habitats, more especially so in late summer when they become adventitious. They are found
throughout Watford, being especially common on deciduous trees in parkland and woodland but also swept from vegetation
and long grass just about anywhere. They occasionally fly into illuminated rooms and usually occur whenever
we run M.V. lights. Adults hibernate among plant litter, in open grass tussocks or around bark and often form
aggregations, commonly with other species e.g. 2-spot (Adalia bipunctata),Coccinella 11-punctata etc.
They are first seen a little later than other
ladybirds (in our experience of 2006. 2007) but are common by early May. Eggs are laid in late spring and,
depending on temperature and food supply, development is rapid with a partial second generation in some years.
Adults from both generations go on to hibernate.
4-6mm. Glabrous. Characteristically marked; ground colour dark orange to red-brown, sometimes darker around the edges of the light macula. Each elytra with seven white or cream markings, pronotum with similarly coloured markings at hind angles and indistinctly lighter at front angles and longitudinally from base medially. Spot size varies little and there is very rarely any fusion. Form nigripenne is a rare melanic form. Scutellum equilateral, finely punctate. Appendages pubescent, light brown, claws strongly bent and with blunt basal lobe. Antennae as long as width of head including eyes, darkened apically. First segment very large, first two segments of club (9-10) sinuate apically. Entire upper surface of body finely punctate, head with strong isodiametric microsculpture so appearing dull against pronotum and elytra.
Given that Calvia varies very little it is unlikely to be confused with any other species.
Description from 6 Watford specimens at X10