What are Minibeasts?
Minibeasts are basically small invertebrate ( without a backbone ) animals, examples of minibeasts are spiders, slugs, beetles, butterflies, earwigs and lots more. Did you know that Britain has over 25,000 species of known invertebrates?
Properties of invertebrate animals
As invertebrates don’t have a skeleton they are usually soft and bend easily, which makes them quite vulnerable so some species have a shell to live in, like a snail, or a harder outer skeleton ( exoskeleton ) which protects their soft body.
Why are Minibeasts useful?
Some Minibeasts are decomposers, they feed on dead leaves as well as other waste matter, releasing nutrients into the soil which can then be absorbed easily by plants.
Bees, Butterflies and Moths spread pollen which fertilises flowers.
Minibeasts are an important part of the food chain and are eaten by birds and other small mammals.
Minibeast Life Cycles
Butterfly Life Cycle
What is Metamorphosis?
Did you know Butterflies and Moths have 4 separate stages to their life cycle, each of which look very different and have a different purpose. There is a distinct change in the animal’s body structure between stages which we call metamorphosis.
The egg is a tiny and round, the female Butterfly attaches it to a leaf or stem on or near food.
The Caterpillar, also known as larva, looks a little bit like a small worm and often has stripes and spine like hairs. Caterpillars grow very quickly , shedding their skin several times along the way.
The Chrysalis or Pupa is the stage where the caterpillar structure is broken down and the adult Butterfly or Moth structures are formed.
Butterfly or Moth
This is the adult stage, Butterflies are much more mobile than caterpillars and also mate and lay eggs.
Make your own Butterfly Spin Wheel
To illustrate the life cycle we made a spin wheel.
Two circles of cardboard one smaller than the other
Cut a window into your smaller circle.
Draw the life cycle on the larger circle.
Attach together with a split pin.
Minibeasts and their life cycles
Butterfly Life Cycle
Buggy and Buddy have a gorgeous paper plate butterfly life cycle.
We love this pasta butterfly lifecycle from Mama Miss as well.
Don’t forget we have a fun edible butterfly life cycle activity too!
Ant Life Cycle
This ant life cycle craft is just lovely from Stir the Wonder.
Easy Bug House
Did you know you can make an easy bug house using just an empty drinks bottle and some sticks? This one from Red Ted Art looks great.
A homemade wormery is a great way to learn about worms.
Frog life Cycle
Do you like our frog life cycle?