Coccinellids are brightly coloured to ward away potential predators. This defence works because most predators associate bright colours (especially orange and black or yellow and black) with poison and other unpleasant properties. This phenomenon is called aposematism. In fact, most coccinellids are indeed toxic to smaller predators, such as lizards and small birds; however, a human would have to eat several hundred coccinellids before feeling any effects. Adult coccinellids are able to reflex-bleed from their leg joints, releasing their oily yellow toxin with a strong repellent smell. This becomes quite obvious when one handles a coccinellid roughly.
Coccinellids copulate for up to nine hours at a time, and males may have three 90-minute orgasms in one session. Coccinellids lay eggs which hatch into a larval state. The larvae then go into a pupal stage before becoming an adult coccinellid.
Coccinellids lay extra infertile eggs with the fertile eggs. These appear to provide a backup food source for the larvae when they hatch. The ratio of infertile to fertile eggs increases as with scarcity of food at the time of egg laying. (Perry & Roitberg, 2005)
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