How do ladybugs mate?


Quick Answer

There are female and male species of ladybugs, and they reproduce sexually. The male ladybug crawls on the back of the female ladybug as they mate.

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Full Answer

There are different species of ladybugs. Each species has its own pheromones, which are chemicals released by female ladybugs that help them attract and stimulate male ladybugs. When a male finds a female that is ready to mate, it climbs on its back and holds tight. Male and female ladybugs can copulate for more than two hours, and the female can retain the inserted sperm for up to three months before laying eggs.

A female ladybug only lays eggs when the conditions are good for survival. It lays eggs on the underside of leaves to protect them from predators. The eggs are very tiny, small and yellow. The larvae of newborn ladybugs look like very tiny alligators, and they grow very quickly. As ladybugs get larger, they shed their skin.

After several weeks, each larva forms a pupa that looks like a very small shrimp tail. Inside the pupa, the larva will go through metamorphosis to become a ladybug. When a ladybug emerges from the pupa, its shell is pink in color. As the shell dries and hardens, it becomes a cherry red.

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