Ladybird eating an aphid on a stinging nettle.

Ladybird eating an aphid on a stinging nettle.

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Stereomicroscope photograph of an adult seven- spotted ladybird Coccinella septum-punctata on a stinging nettle plant, feeding on a nettle aphid, Microlophium carnosum. Ladybird larvae and adults are voracious eaters, consuming large quantities of aphids as their favoured food. They are encouraged by gardeners since aphids are serious pests of flowers, vegetables and some fruit trees. The adult 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, are folded under the elytra. Ladybirds belong to the beetle family. Magnification: x3.2 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: adult, animal, aphid, biological, coccinella septempunctata, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, ladybird, nature, pest control, wildlife, zoology

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