The bug, Graphosoma italicum, with warning colours

The bug, Graphosoma italicum, with warning colours

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This image is part of the feature Mimetism

Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Bug with warning colours. The shield bug Graphosoma italicum, feeding on a parsley stem. The bright red and black stripes of this bug are warning colours. They serve to make the shield bug deliberately conspicuous to predators. Warning (aposematic) colouration indicates that the animal has built-in defences such as a sting, or poisonous or distasteful flesh, or the capacity to strike back in some way. Graphosoma italicum is an inedible bug; its flesh is extremely distaste- ful to predators. An inexperienced predator will attack and taste this bug, reject its flesh, and be warned in future by the bright colours.

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Keywords: animal, aposematic colours, bug, colour, graphosoma, graphosoma italicum, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, nature, shield bug, type, warning, warning colour, warning colours, wildlife, zoology

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