Make a Beetle

Here’s how to make models of beetles that live in Cambridge as well as more things to notice, know, and ask about beetles. Thanks for being patient while we add more to this page!

  • Scarlet Malachite Beetle
  • Twelve-Spotted Lady Beetle and other lady beetles
  • Calleida punctata
  • Engineer Your Own Beetle

Scarlet Malachite Beetle. The first photo is a guide to the supplies in some of the beetle art kits we gave out this month (April 2020) and how to construct your beetle from them. The other three photos show you what a real Scarlet Malachite Beetle looks like. If you don’t have our kit, you can improvise with any red, green, and black paper or fabric you have. You could use a black pipe cleaner, a strip of black paper, or a black twist-tie for the antennae.

The Scarlet Malachite beetle is originally from the Middle East, Europe, and Western Asia but has been living here in North America for a long time. It lives in our city. It belongs to the “soft-winged flower beetle” family. The Scarlet Malachite has 519 “cousins” (species in the same family) in North America, and there are more cousin species all over the world. It has elytra that are not as hard as those of most beetles. You might find it on a flowering plant.

See This!

See more soft-winged flower beetles like the Scarlet Malachite Beetle here.

See a map of Cambridge showing where soft-winged flower beetles, including the Scarlet Malachite, have been spotted.

See what the larva of the Scarlet Malachite looks like.

See a closeup of this beetle’s head and antennae.

See a soft-winged flower beetle with its elytra lifted, revealing its hind wings.


Spotted Lady Beetle, (scientific name: Colleomagilla maculata). Also known as the Twelve-spotted Lady Beetle, or the Pink-spotted Lady Beetle, this species has an oval abdomen shape. It has a very different appearance than the more commonly seen Asian lady beetle, which has a round abdomen.

If you have our kit with Spotted Lady Beetle material, you’ll need to cut out its black spots and glue them on to the red body that has been cut out for you. Take a look at the shapes and patterns of the spots in the photos of the Spotted Lady Beetles, below. If you don’t have our kit, find some black and red paper and something to make antennae and legs out of (black paper is also fine).

See This!

The Lost Ladybug Project has lots of ladybug information! See how to tell different species of lady beetles apart on this web site.

Read about a 40-year old mystery that hasn’t been solved. The Nine-spotted Lady Beetle used to be common in New York state and the Northeast but is now so rare it may become extinct.

See how lady beetles fold their wings. Engineers can use this information to design new things. An amazing short video by National Geographic! (Note to Parents: please put your Youtube window/account into restricted mode before viewing, to eliminate the comments section) This video is below.

Please enter restricted mode on YouTube to eliminate captions.
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