We all know and love the Ladybird
These are all in the beetle family.
there are over 40 species of Ladybird found in the UK, but some are not recognizable as the good
old Ladybird. Therefore we only have 26 species that we can all recognize.
Have you ever picked one of these up and seen yellow droplets come out of the sides?
Most people would think that this is simply the blood of the ladybird, and get a little conserned that they have squashed the poor thing, and throw it to the ground…
Well this is not blood at all but a protection mechanism?
These yellow excretions are very sour to taste and if a bird had the beetle in its mouth it may spit it out due to the foul taste.
Another means that this beetle and many other will use to evade a predator is to play dead and not move in the hope that it wont be noticed. You would imagine this working pretty well among undergrowth, but not so well in your hand. After the ladybird doesn’t detect any movement for a while it will (come back to life) and go on its merry way.
Ladybirds are great at eating the aphids that drink the sap on your new darling buds (so they are classed as one of the gardeners friends) that’s if they can get past any ants that are protecting the aphids….See post ants tending to there sheep