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life

Another camouflage …

In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris lilii), which in fact loves to eat the lily leaves. Initially however it is not at all easy to see these larvae, even though they are brick red in colour, because the produce and heap up a mass of dark green coloured excrements on their body, which hide them perfectly. On the plants it is possible to see only small heaps of faecal material moving around, and constantly eating the leaves. If you remove the layer of excrements covering the lily beetle larva, it is easy to see how the insect continues to collect and produce this unusual material that helps camouflage it hiding it from enemy insects such as ants.

With the sponsorship of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research
 
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