Gold-spot Lady Beetle

lady beetles, Coccinellidae, observed near Turbo, western Kenya. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed near Turbo, western Kenya, December 2015.

This species, like many lady beetle species, is contrastingly marked with bright gold on shiny black. Typically this is a sign that the owner has a strong defense such as a sting, a bite or in this case a potent chemical that would deter an insectivore like a bird. This color pattern is called aposematism and is often accompanied by gregariousness. By sticking together the numbers gain safety: If a bird plucks one and gets a nasty chemical in its mouth it won't quickly repeat the mistake with the remaining beetles.

Coccinellidae -- Lady Bird Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens. Page created 29 June 2016