A loveliness of ladybirds

A loveliness of ladybirds

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: An aggregation of seven-spot ladybirds, Coccinella septem-punctata, overwintering in a holly bush, Ilex aquifolium, photographed in March in Norfolk, UK. All UK species of ladybird overwinter as adults. In October they begin to aggregate into groups for overwintering. The 7 spot ladybird chooses sites such as the undersides of leaves or within hollow stems of plants. The resistance to cold in overwintering ladybirds varies with time, peaking in the middle of winter and declining as spring approaches. In prolonged cold winters, mortality may approach 90%.The picture shows an aggregation of over twenty individuals. The collective noun for a group of ladybirds is "a loveliness".

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Keywords: aggregation, biological, biology, coccinella septem-punctata, cold resistance, collective noun, holly, ilex aquifolium, ladybird, loveliness, mortality, overwintering, seven-spot ladybird, winter, zoological, zoology

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