We spend so much time counting ladybugs’ spots that we don’t often think about their eyes, do we? You may notice that some ladybugs have two big white spots near the fronts of their bodies. They may look like eyes, but don’t be fooled! These markings are on the thorax, or middle part of the ladybug. The ladybug’s real eyes are on its head, and they are black, not white!
Ladybugs have two compound eyes. If you were to zoom in on a compound eye, you’d notice that up close it looks a bit like a collection of bumps! That’s because each compound eye is made of many sections called ommatidia, and each ommatidium is able to pick up important details, such as brightness. The ommatidia point in different directions, helping ladybugs to notice when something around them moves.
With so many parts to each eye, it may seem like ladybugs would have some amazingly detailed sight, but rather than seeing a rainbow of colors, ladybugs see mostly light and dark. This type of vision is just fine for ladybugs, because they can smell better than they can see.
Ladybugs use their antennae, which are attached below their eyes, to feel, smell and taste. Along with their eyes, these antennae help ladybugs gather information about the world around them and hunt for the food they need. Now that’s some super sensing!