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Springwatch ladybird quiz

Tim Scoones Tim Scoones | 13:39 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010

To get you in the ladybird spotting frame of mind, Dr Helen Roy from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH) and Peter Brown from the Anglia Ruskin University have helped us put together a ladybird quiz. Let's see how much you know about this dappled garden visitor.

You can find the ladybird quiz answers on the new Nature UK blog. Good luck!

Harlequin hideaway (Harmonia axyridis) © Wildlife on the go

Question 1.
What makes a beetle a ladybird?
A. Size and shape of the wing casing
B. The distinctive red and black wing casing
C. The length of antennae and number of toes

Seven-spot ladybird © Mark Johnson

Question 2.
How many species of ladybirds do we have in the UK?
A. 36
B. 41
C. 46

Rare five-spot ladybird (Coccinella 5-punctata) © Mike Majerus / CEH
Rare five-spot ladybird (Coccinella 5-punctata) © Mike Majerus

Question 3.
Why are ladybirds so brightly coloured?
A. To attract a mate
B. To warn off potential predators
C. To help camouflage them in their favourite flowers

Lesser-spotted ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) © David Laws.

Question 4.
Will a ladybird have the same number of spots for life?
A. Yes. Except in the first couple of days as an adult
B. No. As ladybirds grow the number of spots on their casing increases until they reach adulthood
C. The amount of spots varies over time depending on diet

Fourteen-spotted ladybird © phoebedslr

Question 5.
Why are ladybirds called 'ladybirds'?
A. Because all ladybirds begin life female before some change into males depending on the population
B. From a biblical reference to the Virgin Mary 'Our Lady' who wore a red cloak
C. They are named after blushing rouge-cheeked Victorian ladies

Cream©spot ladybird (Calvia 14©guttata) © Diane Seddon

Question 6.
Ladybirds leave a chemical footprint trail as they wander over leaves, but who benefits from their smelly feet?
A. Newly hatched young who use the trail as a guide home
B. The ladybird itself as it confuses the senses of predators
C. Parasitic wasps use it to avoid laying eggs in aphids that are potential ladybird lunch

Scarce seven©spot (Coccinella magnifica) © Ken Dolbear / CEH
Scarce seven©spot (Coccinella magnifica) ©Ken Dolbear

Question 7.
The scarce seven-spot (Coccinella magnifica) lives in close association with which other species?
A. Dragonflies
B. Lacewings
C. Wood ants

Rare five-spot ladybird (Coccinella 5-punctata) © Mike Majerus / CEH
Rare five-spot ladybird (Coccinella 5-punctata) © Mike Majerus

Question 8.
The five-spot ladybird (Coccinella 5-punctata) lives in a very unusual location. Where?
A. Exposed sea cliffs
B. Disturbed river shingle banks that flood
C. Near fast flowing rivers

Harmonia axyridis larvae © Wizzywam

Question 9.
Ladybirds develop through four stages during their life cycle: egg, larva, pupae and adult. What is the first meal for a newly hatched larvae?
A. Juicy plant shoots
B. An un-hatched sibling
C. A tasty passing aphid

Eyed ladybird © Remy Ware / CEH
Eyed ladybird © Remy Ware

Question 10.
What is the sticky yellow residue produced by ladybirds when disturbed?
A. Faeces
B. Saliva
C. Blood

To find out more about the lifecycle of ladybirds, their identification, their habitats and natural enemies read my 'Have you seen any ladybirds?' blog post.

The ladybird quiz answers have been published on the new Nature UK blog. Good luck!


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