Ladybird beetle

Ladybird beetle

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Credit: DR. JOHN BRACKENBURY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ladybird beetle. High-speed photograph of a seven- spot ladybird beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) preparing for take-off from a flower. The ladybird has opened its red protective wing cases (elytra), and has begun flapping its wings in order to launch itself into flight. During flight the elytra act as fixed-bearing surfaces, rather like the wings of an aircraft, whilst the wings themselves actually propel the insect. This system, unique to beetles, is only moderately successful and gives them lumbering flight patterns. The carnivorous seven-spot is one of the commonest ladybirds in most parts of Europe.

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Keywords: animal, beetle, britain, british, carnivore, carnivorous, coccinella septempunctata, coleopteran, elytra, european, flight, flower, flying, high-speed photography, insect, insecta, invertebrate, invertebrates, ladybird, ladybug, nature, pollination, predatory, seven spotted, take-off, taking off, wildlife, wings, zoology

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