Learning About Ladybugs

Care Info: Ladybugs

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Did you know that the ladybug is a beetle?

Ladybug Care

Getting Started

• Materials: Plant mister or plastic spray bottle filled with water.
• Your ladybugs are Hippodamia convergens species. You may release them directly from their mesh bag or from a habitat.
• Remove ladybugs from their shipping container. Spray their mesh bag with water. Place bag in refrigerator until you are ready to observe or release them (up to three weeks). Spray them once every week.

Habitat

• Keep your ladybugs in the refrigerator until you are ready to observe them.
• Materials: (1) three or four large, clear jars or other suitable containers, (2) an old stocking or dish towel, (3) rubber bands, (4) twigs and leaves.
• Cut pieces of cloth large enough to cover jar openings. Put leaves and twigs in jars. Sprinkle leaves very lightly with water. Do not allow water to collect in the bottoms of the jars.
• Pour ladybugs into jars, dividing them into roughly equal amounts. Place stocking or cloth over openings and secure with rubber bands.
• Keep ladybugs in their jars for 3 to 5 days. Sprinkle leaves very lightly every day. Be careful not to drown your beetles! Add fresh leaves if necessary.
• Release ladybugs after no more than 5 days in the classroom. They’ll be hungry and will need to search for food.

Ladybug Care

Observation

• Materials: (1) ladybugs, (2) pencils and crayons or markers, (3) paper, (4) magnifying glass.
• Look at body parts: head, thorax, abdomen, pronotum (a plate on the upper thorax), 6 legs, 2 antenna, 2 wing covers, 2 wings. Turn a ladybug upside down to see its thorax and abdomen.
• Look at behavior: crawling, hiding, raising and lowering wing covers.
• Compare: Wrap one jar in a dark towel or put it in a closet for a day. Then bring it into the light and compare it with another jar. Is anything different?
• Experiment: Ladybugs are carnivores; they eat aphids, whiteflies, other tiny insects and insect eggs. Are your ladybugs hungry enough to try something different? Cut several raisins in half and drop some in each jar. (The sweet syrup in a raisin is a little bit like aphids’ sugary secretions.)
• Write about ladybugs. What kind of animal are they (insect, beetle)? What do they look like? What are their body parts? What is their habitat like? What are they doing? What do you think they eat (aphids mostly, and other small insects). Why do they like them?
• Draw and color ladybugs.
• Learn the names of ladybug body parts.

Release Outside

• You may release ladybugs directly from their mesh bag or from habitats. If your ladybugs are refrigerated, allow them a few hours to come to room temperature. Be prepared: bugs will crawl up your arms and into your clothing!
• Release at the end of your school day in a shady place near trees, shrubs or bushes. Rose bushes are excellent ladybug habitat.
• Pour into students’ hands. Blow on ladybugs to make them fly away or scoot them one at a time onto a fingertip and brush them off onto a leaf or tree trunk.

Simple Science: Ladybugs

Ready to learn more about ladybugs? Get your students reading, observing, counting, writing and drawing with these free downloads.


Ladybug Life Cycle

Simple Science: Ladybug Life Cycle

How does a ladybug get from an egg to an adult flying insect? Read about the different stages of a ladybug’s growth. Then students can color, cut and create their own version of the ladybug life cycle.
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Ladybug Anatomy

Simple Science: Ladybug Anatomy

Learn all the parts of your ladybugs! Worksheet and answer key.
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Ladybug Fun Facts

Simple Science: Ladybug Fun Facts

Did you know that ladybugs smell with their feet and antennae? It’s really true! Odd, interesting and humorous facts about ladybugs, plus a quiz sheet for testing your new knowledge.
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Ladybug Looking and Counting

Simple Science: Looking and Counting

A great exercise for very young students. Students build their observation skills by looking closely at ladybugs and sharing their observations. Teacher instructions and worksheets.
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Fun Stuff: Ladybugs

Here are some activities just for fun… Get silly, get creative and do a little word searching when you download these free activities for your classroom.


Ladybug Booklet

Fun Stuff: What Can a Ladybug Show You?

Don’t just read a book—make your own! Color, cut and fold. Then share with friends and family.
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Ladybug Coloring

Fun Stuff: Ladybug Coloring

What color will you choose for your ladybug drawing? Get out the pencils, markers and crayons. A sheet just for coloring fun.
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Ladybug Word Search

Fun Stuff: Ladybug Word Search

Get ready for a challenge—here’s a word search that will keep you looking for all the parts of a ladybug.
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Ladybug Write a Story

Fun Stuff: Write a Ladybug Story

Now that you’ve been learning about ladybugs, tell a story about where they go and what they do next! Write, draw and read aloud.
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