Ladybug Life Cycle Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Kristina Washington-Morris

Kristina has taught a variety of elementary classes and has a master's degree in elementary education.

Expert Contributor
Christianlly Cena

Christianlly has taught college physics and facilitated laboratory courses. He has a master's degree in Physics and is pursuing his doctorate study.

Ladybugs are red and black spotted beetles, but they begin life looking very different. This lesson will teach you about the four stages of the ladybug life cycle. Updated: 11/15/2020

Ladybug Life Cycle

Ladybugs, also called lady beetles, are small, spotted beetles that are well-liked by many people. They don't begin their lives as the easy-to-spot red and black spotted insects, though. In fact, you may not even recognize a young ladybug if it crawled right in front of your nose!

Ladybugs transform through four stages in a process called metamorphosis, which is when a creature changes completely, moving through the stages of its life cycle. The ladybug life cycle includes these stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A ladybug looks very different in each of the stages. Let's explore them now.

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  • 0:04 Ladybug Life Cycle
  • 0:47 Egg and Larva
  • 2:06 Pupa and Adult
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
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Egg and Larva

Ladybug eggs are often found on the bottom of a leaf. A mother ladybug will lay her yellow, bean-shaped eggs in large clusters or lines. The eggs are usually near a large group of aphids or other plant pests because they're a ladybug's main source of food. The mother ladybug makes sure the eggs have plenty of food as soon as they hatch. It's like being born in the kitchen of your favorite restaurant!

The larva stage begins when the ladybug hatches from its egg. The ladybug larva has six legs, a long tail, and black spikes surrounding its body. In this stage, the larva looks more like a spiny lizard than the spotted beetle it will grow to be.

The larva begins to eat as soon as it hatches. The newly hatched larva can bite, and it uses this skill to feast on tiny plant pests, like the aphids we talked about earlier. A ladybug larva can eat up to 25 aphids a day! Could you imagine eating 25 sandwiches in one day?

All this eating makes the larva grow quickly. A ladybug larva sheds its skin when it outgrows its current skin. The larva has to eat plenty to make sure it has enough energy stored up for the next stage in the ladybug life cycle.

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Additional Activities

Ladybug Life Cycle: Word Search Activity

This activity will help you assess your knowledge of the stages of a ladybug's life cycle.

Guidelines

For this activity, you'll need a printer to reproduce the following page. Search for and circle or highlight the words that will complete each of the given clues. Afterward, neatly write them in the appropriate spaces.

Clues

  1. __________ are beetles having a round shape and a shell with a great variety of colorful patterns.
  2. The __________ of a lady beetle has an appetite for aphids and mites.
  3. Ladybugs have small __________ spots on their wing covers, with black legs, heads, and antennae.
  4. Once a female ladybug has mated, she proceeds to lay __________ on a plant that has plenty of food.
  5. __________ are soft-bodied pests that use their piercing mouthparts to feed on plants.
  6. The larva of a ladybug often sheds its __________ to grow and assume a new form.
  7. An insect in its development stage between a larva and an adult is called a __________.
  8. Adult ladybugs can live up to a __________ and spend most of their time munching on aphids.
  9. During the cold season, a ladybug would typically go inside rotting logs or beneath rocks to __________.
  10. A female ladybug lays a cluster of tiny __________, bean-shaped eggs.


Answer Key

  1. Ladybugs
  2. Larva
  3. Black
  4. Eggs
  5. Aphids
  6. Skin
  7. Pupa
  8. Year
  9. Hibernate
  10. Yellow

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