Friday, April 14, 2006

Illustration Friday - Spotted

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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11 comments:

Pati @-;-- said...

Beautiful illo.
I love ladybugs... I used to collect them from my mother's garden when I was a kid.

Liz Jones said...

Nice!! I love the texture you put on the carapace!!

Slimbolala said...

Really, a gorgeous drawing.

Elisabeth said...

I love this, this little lady bug just leaps of the page. Nice!

Katili said...

Such a great illo and an interesting story, too.

The Unknown said...

Wow! Looks great. Awesome detail.
love

Jeanette Jobson said...

Thanks! This was fun to do - and I'm not a bug person.

disappointed said...

a perfect lady

bird

reminds me of my mother

all things bright and beautiful....

Teri C said...

Wow, I thought that was a real ladybug sitting on that page! Great job and info too.

Lori Witzel said...

One of my favorite insects, and a very lovely, unsentimental drawing. Nice to see the bug rendered as an interesting insect, not a "cutie-pie" illo...

BTW, love your other drawings too. Mind if I link to your blog? Would help me find you (and also help me remember to look!)

Jeanette Jobson said...

Thanks Lori, I'm glad you liked the realism of the bug and some of the other work on my blog.

By all means link my site on yours and I'll return the favour. I had a quick visit there and will return again.