Macrophoto of ladybird beetle during take-off

Macrophoto of ladybird beetle during take-off

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This image is part of the sequence Animals: Ladybird beetle (insect) in flight

Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ladybird flight takeoff (first of four images). Macrophotograph of a seven-spot ladybird beetle, Coccinella septempunctata, during flight take-off. The ladybird has climbed to the top of a blade of grass and is opening its red protective wing cases (elytra). After extending its wings it will launch itself into flight. During flight the elytra act as fixed-bearing surfaces, rather like the wings of an aircraft, whilst the wings actually propel the insect. This system, unique to beetles, is only moderately successful and gives them lumbering flight patterns. (See also Z330/229, Z330/230 & Z330/231).

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Keywords: animal, beetle, coccinella, coccinella septempunctata, flight, flying, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, ladybird, nature, seven spot ladybird, take-off, type, wildlife, zoology

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