Cluster of ladybird beetles hibernating under leaf

Cluster of ladybird beetles hibernating under leaf

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ladybirds hibernating. Cluster of seven-spot ladybird beetles Coccinella septempunctata, under a leaf hibernating. These ladybirds hibernate in autumn and winter for 5-6 months, living off fat reserves. To protect against predators, they choose to cluster together and hide on the underside of leaves. Coccinella septempunctata beetles are about 7mm long, with short antennae, and despite their short legs they are good runners and hunters. Seven black spots on the bright red wing covers of the beetle serve to warn ladybird predators that this beetle is itself inedible. Ladybirds are encouraged by gardeners since they are voracious aphid eaters.

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

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