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THE MENAGERIE AT THE PORCH
LADYBUG

WHY DO LADYBIRDS SUCH A BRIGHT OUTFIT

We used to think that ladybugs are only beetles, the shell of which is red or yellow, and the back is decorated with seven or five points. Nothing like entomologists considered cows, and those on whose backs are commas, dashes, and even the letter "M". There are those, whose back is covered with intricate designs. Besides ladybugs are not only red or yellow costumes, there are among them and the followers of the black dress. However, it is full of spots. (By the way, 28-point the person is a vegetarian and pest: eating potatoes, clover and beet.)

Five years ago the English entomologists have found that bright datacache ladybirds, living where the air is full of industrial soot, dark. Thought was that they are simply dirty or steel to repaint itself in the colour of soot to become noticeable. (At least, so do the butterflies.) But everything turned out to be more complex and more interesting. The dark ladybugs who are forced to live in smoky and polluted areas, a considerable advantage over the colored brethren. The meaning of "telecoustic" that polluted air is often retains two-thirds of the sun's rays. Now, dark ladybirds faster heat up under the meager sunlight and therefore faster than their pale girlfriends get food, rather find a spouse and best of breed.

Many insects do not spend time and energy on painting service: prefer to be eaten green chlorophyll, yellow from carotene and xanthophyll that autumn attach the charm of the foliage. For ladybirds such a way almost impossible - vegetarians among them a time or two and a handful. Therefore, solar calves have to get the paint and sweat. Probably black and brown melanin they produce as a by-product of metabolism. And bright red and yellow pigments are synthesized specifically. It turns out that radiant form of cow is obliged only to themselves.

Why such a bright outfit? Yes then not to touch them. Speaking of entomologists, the cows, threatening or, equivalently, warning coloration. And she warns about nesedobnoe. This nesedobnoe a familiar one: if the bug wanders through hand and finger accidentally press it, then he tubules in the legs will release poisonous orange drop. Her poison cantharidin. It burns the throat of birds devouring this cute insect, and other times they circled his side. So scarlet pea is not defenseless.

Poisonous cantharidine ladybug protected perfectly, and fearing she was almost certain. It even masks, dressing up in a similar dress, other beetles and spiders. They hope that birds are also not touched.

Alas, nothing in the world is not absolute: once a solid group of ladybirds extracted from the stomach of the Cobra! Really hungry snake became interested in beetles? No. Cobra ate a toad, and that before you get to the snake in the mouth, swallowed some of the ladybugs.

Thanks cantharidine the protection of the population of scarlet beetles mainly depends on the abundance of food is aphids. More aphid and more consumers. In the famine the population of insects thins out.

In Central Asia lives tremendously poisonous spider tarantula. At night he comes out of the burrow to get food - beetles, crickets... Day tarantula disposing itself by insects, who came to visit him, fleeing mercilessly scorching sun. But ladybug and tarantula not stomach when she creeps into the abode of the spider, he exposes her to the door, adjusting the shock front paws.

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The menagerie at the porch

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