Ladybugs are a type of insect. They are also called lady beetles or ladybirds. Did you know that there are over 5,000 different species of ladybugs that live all over the world? It’s true! To learn more check out these amazing ladybug facts for kids.
These ladybug facts are perfect for kindergarten students and young elementary school students including 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade.
What is a Ladybug?
A ladybug is a type of insect. It is a beetle. There are over 5,000 species of ladybug that live across the entire world. Ladybugs live on every continent except for Antarctica. 450 different species live in North America.
Ladybugs are completely harmless to humans and are even called cute insects. They are a sign of Spring and a symbol of good luck.
You may be wondering how the ladybug got its name. Legend says that during the Middle Ages, European farmer’s crops were being destroyed by tiny insects. These insects were affecting the food source. Not knowing what to do farmers started to pray to the Virgin Mary for help. After some time they started seeing these black and red beetles that ate all the other insects. Their crops started to be saved. The farmers started calling these insects lady beetles.
What does a Ladybug Look Like?
Ladybugs are small and have a round shape. They have six legs, a head, abdomen, antennae, and the thorax. The thorax is the middle section of the insect between the neck and the abdomen that has the heart and the lungs. The thorax is also home to a ladybug’s two sets of wings. A ladybug has two sets of wings for a reason. The first set of wings is called the hardened elytra. Its job is to protect the second set of wings called the flight wings. When a ladybug is ready to fly the elytra open up and the thin flight wings underneath get ready to fly.
When most people think about ladybugs they think of a red insect with black spots. Did you know that ladybugs come in a variety of colors? They can be red, orange and yellow. Some species of ladybugs have no spots at all while others can have up to 20 spots. Did species of ladybugs may also get more spots as they age.
What does a Ladybug Eat?
Ladybugs are omnivores meaning they eat both plants and meat. Ladybugs eat small insects, fruit, other ladybugs, pollen, and aphids. Aphids are tiny sap-eating insects that can destroy a farmer’s crop. Ladybugs can eat up to 75 aphids a day!
Farmers have seen ladybugs as a good luck charm because they eat bugs that destroy their crops. If you catch a ladybug and put it in a backyard habitat, you can give them moist raisins to eat. Just remember to let them go after 1-2 days so that can live freely in the wild.
A ladybug’s antennae are very important to them. They will use their antennae to taste, smell and find food.
Predators to a ladybug include birds, frogs, dragonflies, spiders, and wasps. To avoid being eaten a ladybug may play dead. They can also release a smelly yellow fluid that predators find foul. This is a way to trick the predator into thinking that they do not taste good or are poisonous. A ladybug’s bright red, yellow or orange color also helps keep predators away. Predators may think that bright colors especially red signal a species is poisonous.
Ladybugs live all across the entire world. They live on every continent except for Antarctica. They can be found in forests, anywhere there are weeds or gardens,
Ladybugs hibernate in large groups in the Winter. They come out when the weather reaches 60 degrees. Since they come out in warm weather, seeing a ladybug is a sign that Spring has come. Ladybugs can live up to 9 months in hibernation and 1-2 years in the wild. A group of ladybugs is called loveliness.
Circle of Life
Ladybugs lay 5-30 goldish color eggs on the underside of leaves. Once the egg hatches it is called larvae. Larvae will eat a lot of aphids, up to 400 within two weeks. During this time they will continue to grow. When the larvae have eaten enough and have grown to full size they will turn into pupa. The pupal stage will last between 7-15 days. During this time the pupal will stay attached to a surface, usually a leaf. After the pupal stage, an adult ladybug will come out.