Determining the sex of adult coccinellids can be difficult, as no single external trait exists across the clade to differentiate males and females. Many species can only be sexed based on dissection or behavioral observation, but even the latter can be inaccurate, as same-sex mounting has been observed. Cheilomenes sulphurea (Olivier) is an economically important natural enemy of crop pests in Sub-Saharan Africa, but no trait has been conclusively shown to easily identify their sex in the field. It is crucial for studies involving live beetles that researchers are able to visually separate males and females without killing or overhandling the animals. This paper describes a pronotal pattern that can be used for rapid and easy identification of C. sulphurea males and females.
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Vol. 74 • No. 3