Seven-spot ladybirds mating

Seven-spot ladybirds mating

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Credit: CLAUDE NURIDSANY & MARIE PERENNOU/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Macrophotograph of a pair of mating "seven-spot" ladybird beetles, Coccinella septempunctata. The male (top) and female are much the same size, about 7mm long, with short antennae. Despite their short legs, Coccinella septempunctata is a very good runner and a voracious aphid hunter. It is called the "seven-spot" ladybird for the black spots on its bright red outer wing covers. These outer wings, strengthened into a hard, protective covering, protect the delicate flight wings found beneath. The red and black colour is a warning colouration to predators: this ladybird is able to squirt distasteful fluids from its limb joints.

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

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