Observing Ladybugs ~ The Ladybug Life Cycle.
There is something about Ladybugs that just make me smile. My daughter received a Ladybug Land for her birthday, and squealed with excitement. She ran to check the mail everyday until her little ladybug larvae arrived. Totally adorable. We couldn’t wait to observe the ladybug life cycle first hand.
Our little ladybug larvae arrived right to our doorstep. How cool is that! We couldn’t wait to get them all settled into their new home.
The kids were totally surprised by how the little ladybug larvae looked. I think they were expecting something a little more red and covered in black spots. Love it! They even asked if we were sure they shipped the right bugs to us. After a little Google searching, the kids discovered that these little guys were indeed ladybug larvae.
Bree carefully opened the shipping tube, and emptied the larvae and food into their new home.
The kids love the little magnifying glass at the top of the house. Perfect for a close up look of everything that happened. So cool!
The Ladybug Life Cycle
- Egg Stage ~ Adult ladybug lay about 10-15 eggs on the underside of a leaf. The eggs are a yellowish color and shaped like tiny jellybeans.
- Larvae Stage ~ As soon as the larvae hatch, they begin looking for food. They look similar to tiny little alligators. During this stage, they go through lots of change. They molt and shed their skin as they grow. You will find lots of tiny little skin sheds, that are really cool to examine.
- Pupa Stage ~ The kids thought they looked like little shrimp during this stage. They look like they are sleeping, however lots of changes are happening that you can’t see. Soon they will emerge as adult ladybugs.
- Adult Ladybug Stage ~ Ready for something really cool! The skin of the pupa will split open and out will emerge a full grown ladybug. Their shells will be a little soft and light colored for the first few hours. Soon their shells will harden and become the red color. Metamorphosis is complete!
We missed getting a picture of the pupa stage, but it was pretty cool to see.
After a few days of observing our little ladybugs, we let them go in our garden.
Cool Ladybug Facts:
The kids decided to research ladybugs and this is what they discovered…
- Not all ladybugs are female
- Female ladybugs can lay up to 1,000 eggs in their life time.
- Ladybugs LOVE aphids, and can eat up to 1,000 in a year.
- They go through metamorphosis like butterflies. After the pupa stage, they emerge into mature adult ladybugs.
- Ladybugs can fly up to 15 miles per hours.
- In the winter when the temp drops below 55 degrees, ladybugs hibernate. The can stay in this state for up to 9 months! When the weather warms up again, the ladybugs fly again. They go in search of food, because they are hungry after their long sleep!
Ladybugs are more than just cute!