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  Ladybug Bites
From: Ted.Held at hstna.com on 2002.04.30 at 15:29:33(8681)
I have looked at the mouth parts of these ladybugs under SEM and to me, an
ignorant layperson, they do not look like they are capable of biting in the
usual sense. They look like smallish, sucking mouthparts, perhaps even
vestigial. They do have quite an armory of hooks and sharp attachments on
their legs. Maybe a "bite" is a misinterpreted snag on one of these gizmos?
When I handle them they do not seem to act differently from ordinary

From: "Cooper, Susan L." SLCooper at scj.com> on 2002.04.30 at 18:40:56(8684)
LOL come to my house Ted. When you yell OWW! you won't care if they bite or
snag, it hurts!

Susan L. Cooper

From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2002.04.30 at 18:48:52(8689)
Ladybugs (Ladybirds in Britain) are frequently the cause of supposed 'bites'
but in reality they are searching for moisture. Particularly in hot weather
the beetles need to take in quite a lot of extra liquid and human skin with
sweat droplets provides a tempting source. As Ted Held suggested in his email
the bite is accidental caused by the scraping of the mouthparts as they
attempt to suck up liquid. I worked for 10 years at the Natural History
Museum as a specialist in beetles and this problem came up at regular

From: Durightmm at aol.com on 2002.04.30 at 20:20:50(8690)
Susan if you or anyone else can "Capture" these lovely ladies please ship them to me collect. Joe

From: Alektra at aol.com on 2002.05.01 at 04:32:47(8694)
Sounds like this kind of scraping might provide enough contact with the
allergens in the beetle's mouthparts and/or shell to cause or stimulate an

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