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Springwatch Ladybird Quiz answers

Jeremy Torrance web producer Jeremy Torrance web producer | 17:06 UK time, Thursday, 27 May 2010

Did you try our ladybird quiz If not try it now (and no taking a sneaky look at the answers first).

It was a toughie. No one got all 10 questions correct, so have a go and let us know how you score.

Well done to Naturalist12 and AdamLCanning for trying. Naturalist12 your comment is absolutely spot-on (sorry, obvious pun!).

And when you've finished get out there and go spot some ladybirds for real. This week the BBC Breathing Places CEH National ladybird survey launched and they'd love to know how many you've spotted.

Ladybird stomp by wildlifeongo

Answer 1 C: Ladybirds are distinguished from other beetles by their relatively short antennae (11 segments) and the fact their feet have four segments.

Pineladybird by zebadiah007

Answer 2 A: There are 46 species of ladybird in the UK but only 26 actually resemble a 'traditional' ladybird.

Larch ladybird © Mike Majerus
Larch ladybird by Mike Majerus

Answer 3 B: Ladybirds' bright colours warn potential predators that they will taste bad. However, some beetles in the ladybird family are dull-coloured with no spots like the larch ladybird.

Yellow ladybird by Margaret the Novice
Harlequin spot development © Ken Dolbear - CEH

Harlequin spot development by Ken DolbearAnswer 4 A: When a ladybird first emerges from its pupal case, it is plain yellow, with no spots. The spots appear over the next day or so, and once established the ladybird will have that number of spots for the rest of its life.

Oh ladybird by Freshclaw

Answer 5 B: The name 'ladybird' is thought to derive from "Our Lady" - in early pictures Mary wore a red cloak - and the seven spots were thought to represent the seven joys and sorrows of Mary.

Seven-spot with parasitic wasp - Racheal Hardie
Parasitic wasp (Dinocampus coccinella) © Maria Fremlin - CEH
Parasitic wasp (Dinocampus coccinellae) by Maria Fremlin

Answer 6 C:Parasitic wasps lay their eggs in aphid larvae which are a favourite feast for a hungry ladybird. The wasps use the chemical trails left by ladybirds to avoid laying eggs in a ladybirds' hunting ground.

Scarce seven-spot with ant © Ken Dolbear - CEH
Scarce-7spot with ant - Ken Dolbear

Answer 7 C: Scarce seven-spot ladybirds are ant-loving 'myrmecophiles' and live harmoniously with the ordinarily aggressive wood ant. During the winter months, the seven-spot enters the wood ant nests to sit out the cold.

River shingle bank © Helen Roy - CEH
River shingle bank by Helen Roy CEH

Answer 8 B: The rare 5-spot ladybird makes its home in disturbed river shingle banks that flood! This behaviour has mainly been observed in Wales.

Answer 9 B : The first meal for a newly hatched larvae will usually be one of its siblings! Predatory ladybirds lay their eggs in clutches of 20 to 40 eggs. When a ladybird larva hatches from its egg it consumes its own egg case and then turns to feed on one of its un-hatched siblings.

Ladybird lunch by Danny Gibson

Catching an aphid is very challenging for a newly hatched and hungry larva. Once the ladybird has developed to an adult, however, aphids are a staple part of its diet.

Test your predatory ladybird skills with the Woodland trusts - ladybird game.

Eyed ladybird © Remy Ware - CEH
Reflex blood by Remy Ware

Answer 10 C: The sticky yellow goo a ladybird secretes when disturbed is reflex blood. It has a very unpleasant smell and contains the toxic alkaloids that deter predators.



How did you do? Try identifying ladybirds in your local area and join in with the National ladybird survey which launched this week.

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