How do you de­feat an army sin­gle-hand­edly?

iD magazine - - Smarter In 60 Seconds -

Aphids are right at the top of the menu for la­dy­bugs. Un­for­tu­nately they are pro­tected by a whole army of ants, which use the aphids’ se­cre­tions as a source of nu­tri­tion. But the ants’ at­tacks with pin­cers, claws, and acid cock­tails don’t faze la­dy­bugs: Their body is de­signed so that the ants’ sharp mandibles glide over the smooth red wing cases with­out caus­ing any dam­age. In ad­di­tion, la­dy­bugs can com­pletely re­tract their legs un­der their round body and sim­ply ride out the at­tack.

TINY ALARM SYS­TEM When threat­ened by a lady­bug, aphids re­lease an alarm pheromone in or­der to warn other aphids in their vicin­ity.

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