Ladybird beetles mating on a rose stem

Ladybird beetles mating on a rose stem

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ladybirds mating. Seven-spot ladybird beetles Coccinella septempunctata, mating on a rose stem. At upper centre the mating pair can be seen. Other beetles have clustered to feed on the Rose aphid Macrosiphon rosae, a major food source of the ladybird. Some aphids are visible (at top). This beetle is encouraged by gardeners since aphids are a serious pest. 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. Magnification: x1 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: animal, beetle, coccinella, coccinella septempunctata, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, ladybird, mating, nature, type, wildlife, zoology

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