Answer to the Monday Night Fuzzball

A ladybird larva feeds on aphids while a nearby Formica obscuripes ant worker gathers honeydew. Sagehen Creek, California, USA.


What was that waxy puffball of an aphid predator?

Rodolfo, for 10 points, was quick to the right answer: Coleoptera: Coccinellidae, Scymninae. Our mystery is a young ladybird beetle, and its waxy tufts provide protection against predation by ants. Notice, for example, how the larva above is not being eaten.

This brings us to the end of the month. Rodolfo picked up points in three of the five challenges this month, coming out at 21 points total, and well ahead of second-place KMS’s 10.

Congratulations, Rodolfo. Contact me for your loot!


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