A newly-hatched seven-spotted ladybird

A newly-hatched seven-spotted ladybird

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A newly-hatched seven-spotted ladybird Coccinella septum-punctata, seen on the underside of a stinging nettle leaf. When ladybirds first hatch into adults they are yellow and without spots. The black spots begin to emerge within minutes of hatching and in hours the outer case has turned the familar red. Ladybird larvae and adults consume large quantities of aphids as their favoured food & are thus encouraged by gardeners. The adult beetle is built like a miniature tank, with its forewings strengthened into a hard protective covering called an elytra. The fragile hind wings, or flight wings, seen protruding here, are normally folded away underneath the elytra.

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Keywords: animal, coccinella septempunctata, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, ladybird, nature, newly hatched, wildlife, zoology

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