What colour / pattern will result from this coupling?
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Interesting question. I just looked up the answer in Mike Majerus' New Naturalist book on Ladybirds. The genetics of 2-spot colouration can apparently be quite complicated as there is a lot of variation between the 2 extremes in your photograph (eg see http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/35072?nav=related). However, in crosses between the typical form (red, two spots) and the quadrimaculata form (black with 4 red spots), quad is dominant to typ. This means that the quad ladybird could be a heterozygote (one quad allele, one typ allele) or it could be a homozygote (2 quad alleles). The typ. beetle (the male in your photo) must be homozygous. So what you have here could either be
1. (typ typ) X (quad quad)
2. (typ typ) X (quad typ)
Cross 1 would produce all (typ quad) offspring which would all be black with 4 red spots.
Cross 2 would produce equal proportions of black and red and red offspring.
This is the simple version on pp.224 - 226 of Majerus' book.
For the full story you need to read it yourself.
If all this talk of alleles and so on is unfamiliar to anyone, it is explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendelian_inheritance
University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)
Thanks for your very detailed answer to my question. I will work my way through it tomorrow as many of the terms are new to me.
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