The Ladybug IMPOSTER Unmasked!

The Ladybug IMPOSTER Unmasked!
 © 2012 Betsy Betros
 Habitat: Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Kansas, and North Carolina
Status: No Conservation Concerns

Don’t be fooled by this sneaky little bug! You’re not looking at a ladybug here, but you might be easily convinced had I not told you, right? ;)

This is the Four-spotted Checkered Beetle (Pelonides quadripunctatus) which is quite the unoriginal creature. First off, that name – boooooring! No wonder it wants to escape its daily life to emulate the popular ladybug. Then, of course, there’s its lack of creativeness when it comes to its coloring. Nothing worse than a copy cat, in my opinion.

However, I suppose it’s not appropriate to blame this beetle’s shortcomings on personal preference. Natural selection is the real culprit here because by looking just like a ladybug, the Four-spotted Checkered Beetle gets the perks of appearing poisonous without all the hassle of actually having to do anything. Predators are deterred by the mere thought of eating a foul-tasting ladybug (or what appears to be one) so this beetle just takes advantage of that nice little fact. Sneaky and clever… touché.