Do ladybirds use biological weapons?

The harlequin ladybird is anything but a good luck charm. This native of Asia is slowly wiping European ladybirds off the map. The ladybird boasts a unique biological weapon. It’s a bodily fluid, haemolymph, that contains fungal spores deadly to the European ladybird. These spores attack the host’s somatic cells, often resulting in death. The spores are so noxious that the harlequin ladybird can even produce allergic reactions in humans. The risk is at its highest during autumn. How can you spot a harlequin ladybird? They generally have W- or M-shaped markings on their collar and 19 spots on their backs.


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