Ladybird beetles eating aphids on a nettle leaf

Ladybird beetles eating aphids on a nettle leaf

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ladybirds eating aphids. Seven-spot ladybird beetle Coccinella septempunctata, feeding on the large green nettle aphid Microlophium carnosum. This predation is occurring on the leaf surface of a stinging nettle Urtica dioica. Aphids are the ladybird's main food source; this beetle is encouraged by gardeners since aphids are serious pests of flowers, vegetables and some fruit trees. Coccinella septempunctata is about 7mm long, with short antennae, and despite its short legs it is a good runner and a voracious aphid hunter. Seven black spots on the bright red wing covers of the beetle serve to warn ladybird predators that this beetle is itself inedible.

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Keywords: animal, aphid, beetle, coccinella, coccinella septempunctata, eaten by ladybird, eating aphids, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, ladybird, leaf, microlophium carnosum, nature, nettle, stinging hairs, type, urtica dioica, wildlife, zoology

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