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Ladybirds 'think like their prey aphids to catch a juicy meal'

London, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 ANI

London, Apr 9 (ANI): Seven-spotted ladybirds measure which plants their aphid prey crave for and then set up camp there to increase the chances of grabbing a wholesome meal for themselves, a new study has claimed.

For the study, Amanda Williams and Samuel Flaxman from the University of Colorado in Boulder treated broad bean plants with a non-toxic chemical to strengthen up plant tissue, making them harder for pea aphids to feed on.

Unsurprisingly, the plant lice spent more time on more edible, untreated plants, New Scientist reported.

However, so did the ladybirds even when there were no aphids for them to eat.

According to Flaxman, this is the first evidence that predators not only go where their prey's food is in plenty but also where its quality is high.

How the ladybirds judge the plant's quality is still unclear. (ANI)


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