Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ladybug Spots

So what is the function of ladybug spots?

Ladybug spot patterns vary widely from species to species and come in a variety of colors. Most people are familiar with black spots, but they also come in brown, blue, beige, green, orange, red, yellow and white. Just as the shell or elytra comes in a variety of colors other than the popular red including black, beige, pink, yellow, orange, brown, green and blue.

Ladybugs are warning predators with their spot patterns that they taste bad. They are poisonous to small predators such as lizards and birds that might consider them for a meal. Many species also have eyespots that further deter predators.

OK, so what's an eyespot? Look at that ladybug to the left. That's the Eyed Ladybird, Anatis Ocellata. Eyespots are just extra decorative spots that look like eyes. They often trick predators by making ladybugs or other animals that have them appear larger. Additionally they are often located away from the head to draw a predators attack away, increasing the ladybug's chance of survival.

Spots also aid us in identifying a ladybugs species. Though not the primary factor in determining a ladybugs species, they are one of the properties that help etymologists and ladybug enthusiasts narrow down what group they might fall into.

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