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Ladybugs Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Heather Pier

Heather has taught high school and college science courses, and has a master's degree in geography-climatology.

You may have seen a ladybug, but you probably never thought that much about what they eat or where they like to live. This lesson will teach you about ladybugs and how they live.

What is a Ladybug?

Can you call any female bug a ladybug? No, that isn't what ladybug means. A ladybug is a type of insect. Even though their name suggests that they are ladies, ladybugs can be either male or female. All ladybugs are called ladybugs even if they are boys.

Even though they are called ladybugs, not all ladybugs are ladies.

Insects are what we often call bugs, so that is probably where the bug part of their name comes from. Some people also call ladybugs 'ladybeetles', so the name 'ladybug' is probably a mix of the words 'ladybeetle' and 'bug'.

Ladybugs are one of the most easy to recognize insects because of their bright color and spots.

You may have noticed that some ladybugs don't look like other ladybugs. They might be a different color or have a different number of spots. This is because there are many different types of ladybugs in the world, just like there are many different types of dogs. In fact, there are over 5,000 different kinds of ladybugs!

Where Do Ladybugs Live?

Ladybugs can be found all over the world. The kinds we see in the United States and Canada most often are the ones that have red bodies with black spots.

If you look closely at one, you will notice that it has seven black spots. Almost all the red ladybugs found in North America have seven spots. Ladybugs in other locations in the world have different colors and different numbers of spots.

So in many cases, the number of spots can help you tell where a ladybug might be from. This is like how a driver's license tells you what state a person is from.

This is not a typical North American ladybug. It has too many spots.

What Do Ladybugs Eat?

Ladybugs are what we call omnivores. This means that they can eat both plants and animals, like humans can.

Most of the time they prefer to eat tiny bugs that are much smaller than they are and that live on plants. These bugs are the kind that can kill plants by eating too many of their leaves. Examples of ladybug food include aphids, spider mites, and tiny insect eggs.

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