Characterization and gene cloning of acetylecholinesterase (AChE) in the insecticide-resistant (R) and -susceptible (S) insects have been reported in the past. However, the studies focused mostly on herbivorous pests, rather than predacious species, such as ladybird beetles. Using R and S Propylaea japonica (thunberg), a full-length cDNA sequence (2928 bp) of the ace1-type AChE gene was determined for the first time. The ace1 encoding a protein of 645 amino acids contained typical conserved motifs, such as FGESAG domains, catalytic triad, acyl pocket, oxyanino hole, choline binding site, peripheral anionic site, omega loop and conserved aromatic residues. R P. japonica displayed 50-times greater resistance to chlorpyrifos or mathamidophos with a significantly lower AChE sensitivity to paraoxon, malaoxon, chlorpyrifos or methamidophos than its S counterpart. Five amino acids in the ace1 of R P. japonica differed from those found in S P. japonica. One of them, F358S, located in the acyl-binding pocket, might play a crucial role in the resistance of the insect to organophosphates (OPs). Whereas, K493E and I538V, which were close to some of the conserved aromatic amino acids (i.e., H509, Y511, and W499) in the gorge, and G571R and T576A near C593 that formed the disulfide bonds with C471, might also involve in the change of insecticide resistance in P. japonica. AChE insensitivity and amino acid replacements, particularly F358S, might be the determining factors in the alteration of OPs-resistance in P. japonica.