Day 1

Finny was very excited to find an egg covered leaf on the trampoline. He couldn’t wait for Cian to get home from preschool, to show him.

They went down in to the garden to see the tree that the leaf had fallen off.

We tried leaving the fallen leaf outside, but it kept blowing and hitting the fence. We decided the eggs would have more chance of hatching if we left them inside.

Detailed observations on the ladybird and butterfly life cycles

We looked at the ladybird life cycle in a lot of detail three years ago, so the boys had this existing knowledge:

  1. Setting up our ladybird world
  2. Observing ladybird metamorphosis
  3. Releasing our ladybirds
  4. Anatomy of a ladybird

Last month we hatched butterflies and studied the process in depth here:

  1. Caterpillar to chrysalis
  2. Emerging butterflies
  3. Releasing our butterflies

Day 3

Cian and Finny were very excited when we started to see the ladybird larvae hatching out.

Our larvae (below right) were very clear through a magnifying glass and even visible by eye, but didn’t focus well on the camera. This stunning picture (below left) by Gilles San Martin shows a close up of what we could see.

Day 10

When we went down to check on the progress of the ladybird larvae, Finny and Cian spotted that some of the other eggs on the tree had hatched in to caterpillars.

The majority of our ladybird larvae had moved from the tree, on to the steps and plants near by. They were now starting to turn in to pupas.

While the pupas were trying to form their hard shell, there were still other ladybird larvae wandering about and disturbing them.

Day 11

Cici spends hours showing us his favourite life cycles on loop. This was a perfect excuse for him to compare the ladybird and butterfly life cycles again! He is very excited about the fact that they are both co-existing in the same tree.

He pointed out that the biggest difference between the second stage of the life cycles, is that the caterpillars eat the leaves and the ladybird larvae eat aphids.

Yesterday, Finny and Cics predicted that the different coloured pupas turned into different coloured ladybirds. Today, they were able to observe the changes in the pupas they visited yesterday and see whether they still agreed with their original prediction.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.