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Adding Value To The Business of Cropping

Ladybird Life Cycle Info

Learning Intentions:

    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.


  1. What shape and colour are new ladybird eggs?
  2. Are the eggs laid separately or in a group?
  3. Estimate the size of the eggs. Hint: Compare them with the size of an adult ladybird that might be 5–7 mm long.
  4. What changes happen to the eggs as they develop?
  5. What do the baby ladybird larvae have for their very first meal?
  6. How are the larvae and adults different?
  7. What do the baby larvae like to eat?
  8. What do the larvae turn into?
  9. How long is it before they turn into adults?
  10. What colour is the adult's back when it first breaks out of its skin? What colours does it become?
  11. What purpose do the adult's bright colours serve?
  12. There are over 40 species of ladybirds in New Zealand, but how many are there worldwide?
  13. What is the adult ladybird eating? How do both the nymph and adult feed, by sucking or chewing?
  14. What do the adults do when it gets cold?
  15. How do ladybirds tuck their wings away?
  16. 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.

Related resources

Ladybird/Mumutawa Spotter 

Teacher guidance and answers

These are found in the Teacher Support section.