The female black scale can produce offspring without having to mate, either by eggs or live-born, under the hard shell of her body. She can produce as many as 2,000 eggs, spring through summer.
If the female dies, the young (crawlers) will stay protected and emerge to find their own feeding spot. At this stage they are soft, not having begun to produce the waxy coating.
The “crawlers”, which are pale in colour will make their way to the stems, moulting at about four weeks then, when mature, they will develop the black shells and lay eggs. At this stage they do not move around.Their life cycle is comprised of three instars.
Males are rare.
One or two generations will occur during the year depending on climatic conditions.