The Life Cycle of a Ladybug: Part 1

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 12112

Have you seen a ladybug? It's fun to watch their tiny legs skitter across a surface! Did you know baby ladybugs outgrow their clothing, just like you do? See how these pretty insects start as larvae!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

  • What is red with black spots all over and cute as a bug?

Ladybugs can be found in many different places all over the world.

  • Have you ever seen a ladybug?
  • What was it doing?

Share your answer with your parent or teacher. There are over five thousand different species of ladybugs! In this lesson, you will learn about how ladybugs grow and change. Just like a butterfly has a life cycle, so does a ladybug.

  • Are you ready to learn about the life cycle of a ladybug?


The first stage of a ladybug’s lifecycle is the egg stage. A mother ladybug will lay her eggs beneath a leaf to protect them from rain and other insects that might eat them. Ladybugs only lay from ten to fifteen eggs on a leaf. Usually, the leaf the eggs are laid on is a leaf that the baby ladybugs can eat. On the plant below, you can see ladybug eggs that are almost ready to hatch!

ladybug eggs

Image [cropped] by Ianisvichos, via Wikimedia Commons, is licensed under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Once the eggs hatch, the baby ladybugs will be in the larval stage. When they come out of the eggs, they are hungry! They will immediately start searching for food. The mother ladybug chose a special place to lay her eggs. This place is near a spot where lots of tiny insects, like mites, live. The larvae will feed on these tiny insects. Take a look at the baby ladybug below.

  • Did you expect it to look this way?

The larval stage looks very different from the final stage of a ladybug's life. As this little ladybug eats, it will grow and grow. Once it gets big enough, it will shed its skin. They will continue to shed their skin, or molt, as their body gets bigger.

You just learned about the first two stages of a ladybug's life cycle! Tell your parent or teacher what both stages are and what happens during these stages.

After sharing, move on to the Got It? section to watch a video about the beginning of a ladybug’s life cycle.

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