Some people think that the black spots indicate the Ladybird's age. Wrong! Their only purpose is to alert predators that they are toxic and dangerous to eat. Ladybirds contain 7 different alkaloids making them toxic and taste terrible.
If a predator eats one Ladybird they will be discouraged from eating another. Thus other Ladybirds will be spared.
Of the 5000 species of Ladybirds, not all have alkaloids they use camouflage for protection against predation being smaller and darker.
The number of black spots varies is determined by species and does not increase with age. Some Ladybirds have 22, some 7.
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