Pupae of Seven-spot ladybird

Pupae of Seven-spot ladybird

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Two pupae of the seven-spot ladybird, Coccinella septem-punctata, on a dried leaf of barley, Hordeum vulgare, Norfolk UK, July. The point of attachment is the tip of the abdomen, so that in this picture, the insects are facing downards. Metamorphosis to the adult insect is temperature dependent, and takes from 8-15 days. The picture shows two pupae, typically fully exposed to view on a leaf surface. Each pupa makes no attempt to hide itself, but relies on warning coloration to deter predators such as birds. Although fixed to the substrate, it can also flick itself up and down to deter parasitic wasps. In cool conditions, pupae show the colour in this picture; in hot dry conditions, the colour is pale orange.

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Keywords: barley, coccinella septem-punctata, insect, ladybird, metamorphosis, pupa, seven-spot, warning coloration

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