The life cycle of a ladybug By Newsela staff on 01.30.20 Word Count 161 Level MAX Newsela staff The ladybug is one kind of insect that goes through four stages in its life cycle. First, a mother ladybug lays her eggs on the bottom side of a leaf. Soon, a baby ladybug, or larva, hatches from the egg. It looks nothing like an adult ladybug. The larva eats and grows, but its exoskeleton does not grow. So the larva molts and crawls out of its old, tight exoskeleton and into a new one that is much looser. The larva molts many times. When it is big enough, it attaches itself to a leaf and molts again. Its new exoskeleton hardens into a protective case. Now, the ladybug is a pupa. The pupa does not eat or move. Inside its case, its body is busy changing. The pupa's case splits open, and a soft, pale adult ladybug pushes out. As the ladybug's wings harden, they turn bright red and spots appear. Then, the ladybug can fly away. This article is available at 5 reading levels at https://newsela.com. This article is available at 5 reading levels at https://newsela.com.