Drawing of a ladybug.Quick Links

 

Drawing of a ladybugItems for Sale:

Live Ladybug Growing Kit - Watch Ladybug Larvae Turn into Ladybugs!
Live Ladybug Growing Kit - Watch Ladybug Larvae Turn into Ladybugs!

Ladybug LARVAE Refill
Ladybug LARVAE Refill

Ladybug Life Cycle Figurines
Ladybug Life Cycle Figurines

Huge Ladybug Life Cycle Puzzle
Huge Ladybug Life Cycle Puzzle

Ladybug Playground
Ladybug Playground

Red Roof Ladybug House
Red Roof Ladybug House

Natural Wood Ladybug House
Natural Wood Ladybug House

Ladybug Lure
Ladybug Lure


Ladybug Mating & Reproduction

These Sevenspotted LadyBugs (Coccinella septempunctata)
These Sevenspotted LadyBugs
(Coccinella septempunctata)
are mating on a young Birch leaf.
Photo by Andr Karwath
The ladybug life cycle starts with mom and dad ladybug mating. The ladybugs pictured to the right are mating. Ladybugs reproduce sexually. Each species of ladybug has its own pheromones for attracting a mate. When they find each other, the male grips the female from behind and holds on tight. They can copulate (stay together) for more than 2 hours at a time. Female ladybugs can store a male's sperm for 2-3 months before laying eggs. Ladybugs tend to lay their eggs where food is abundant.

 

How do we know the male from the female?

It's almost impossible for the average person to tell them apart. But here are some clues that might help. First, females are usually larger than males. Second, if you observe one ladybug riding atop another ladybug, they are in the process of mating. A male ladybug will grab the female's elytra (hard wings) and holds on tight – so the one at the top is the male. An entomologist (bug scientist) can see the difference between males and females under a microscope. Below are pictures taken with a microscope in a process called electron microscopy.

An electron scan of a male ladybug

Males

  1. Have a notch on the last sternite, shown by the yellow number 6.
  2. They have lots of setae ("hair-like" structures) on the last segment, shown by yellow number 6 .
  3. And, they have large flexor bands between the sternites, shown by the arrows above number 3.

Female Ladybug

Females, in general

  1. Do not have a notch on the last sternite.
  2. Do not have lots of setae, just a little.
  3. Do not have large flexor bands.

 

Ladybug Eggs
After mating, the ladybugs will deposit eggs like these on leaves.
Photo by Gilles San Martin

 

Visit These Pages For Other Great Items:

The Nature Gift Company Home Home & Garden Gifts Animal Gifts Live Animal Kits

Top of page


Available at the Nature Gift Company Store:
     
1

You may enjoy some of the items above –they help you to further explore and learn about our natural world!