Insects > Ladybugs > Ladybug Anatomy

Ladybug Anatomy

Ladybug Anatomy

There are eight parts to the ladybug anatomy, each with its own purpose. A ladybug is an insect, a beetle actually, and it has most of the same anatomical parts as every other insect, as well as a few parts that are distinctive to the ladybug. All ladybugs are less than ¼ inch long, oval or round shaped, and have six short legs. 

Ladybugs usually have very bright colors, like red or orange, and often have some sort of pattern on them, like spots. These colors and patterns are thought to warn predators of the ladybug’s bad taste and poison. Sometimes, though, the ladybug will be a solid color with no pattern at all, and can be yellow, brown, or black. The eight body parts are the head, antenna, eyes, pronotum, thorax, elytra, wings, and legs.

Head

Ladybug Anatomy

The ladybug’s head is round and thin and includes the ladybug’s mouth, eyes, and antennae.


Antenna

The antenna is what helps a ladybug smell, taste, and feel its way around. Ladybugs don’t see as well as they can smell and this is how they find the tiny bugs that they eat.

Eyes

A ladybug has two eyes but it doesn’t see very well. Ladybugs can only see the difference between dark and light, as if everything was a black and white photo, but they cannot see colors at all.

Pronotum

The pronotum is the part right behind the ladybug’s flat head that sort of makes the head look round. The pronotum actually protects the ladybug’s head and helps to hide it. Sometimes the pronotum will have spots on it, too.

Thorax and Abdomen

The thorax and the abdomen, is the body section that the legs and wings are attached to, and the part that holds the ladybugs digestive system, the reproductive organs, and the stinky, poisonous gel.

Elytra

Ladybug Wings are Hidden Under the ElytraLadybug Wings are Hidden Under the Elytra

Ladybugs have a shell, or hard case, that protects their wings and also protects them from predators. The Elytra is also the part that shows the ladybug’s colors and patterns to predators to warn them off. The Elytra is exactly the same on the right side as it is on the left, they are a mirror image, or symmetrical, to one another.



Wings

The wings are what helps the ladybug fly. Ladybugs don’t seem to have a very good sense of direction when they fly around, though. They seem almost clumsy. Perhaps this is because of the wings being stuck underneath the Elytra all the time. Every time the wings are used, they have to carefully fold them back up to hide underneath the Elytra.

Legs

The six short little legs of a ladybug help it to walk, but they do more than that. The feet of a ladybug helps it smell, and when a predator captures a ladybug, the bad tasting and poisonous gel will ooze out of the legs, sometimes saving the ladybug’s life. Wouldn’t you spit that out?



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