- Students will be able to:
- understand the life cycle of ladybirds
- describe how they eat and what they feed on
- explain how the ladybird life cycle is similar to that of a butterfly.
Ladybird / Mumutawa life cycle
Ladybirds, sometimes called ladybugs, have an amazing life cycle, which you will see in this video. Watch it and answer the questions below.
- What shape and colour are new ladybird eggs?
- Are the eggs laid separately or in a group?
- Estimate the size of the eggs. Hint: Compare them with the size of an adult ladybird that might be 5–7 mm long.
- What changes happen to the eggs as they develop?
- What do the baby ladybird larvae have for their very first meal?
- How are the larvae and adults different?
- What do the baby larvae like to eat?
- What do the larvae turn into?
- How long is it before they turn into adults?
- What colour is the adult's back when it first breaks out of its skin? What colours does it become?
- What purpose do the adult's bright colours serve?
- There are over 40 species of ladybirds in New Zealand, but how many are there worldwide?
- What is the adult ladybird eating? How do both the nymph and adult feed, by sucking or chewing?
- What do the adults do when it gets cold?
- How do ladybirds tuck their wings away?
- Big question: How is the ladybird's life cycle similar to that of a butterfly?
Find out what the nursery rhyme "Ladybird, ladybird fly away home ...." is about. Hint: It is a tradition related to the burning of a certain farm crop.
Teacher guidance and answers
These are found in the Teacher Support section.