Ashy Gray Lady Beetle (Olla v-nigrum)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ashy Gray Lady Beetle.
Updated: 2/2/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Placed next to each other, the varieties of Ashy Gray Lady Beetles would have one believe they are looking at different species.
The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle has two color variations in adults. The grayish-white version has large two large black blotches with many small ones on its elytra (wing covering). This is in stark contrast from the black version that has two large red spots on its elytra and small white coloring on its pronotum ('shoulders') and head. Both variations have appear glossy.
Like all Lady Beetles, larvae are completely different in shape and appearance. The long, black tubular body of this larva is covered in spiky ridges. It almost resembles a mini-alligator. This species has a series of yellow dots and dashes that look like a yellow sword on its back with the 'blade' pointing at the abdomen and its two 'hilts' near the head. Females lay yellow fertilized eggs under leaves. Newly hatched larvae eat other small insects like aphids. They pupate and continue to prey on insects as adults. This species is beneficial in gardens as their diet removes plant-harming bugs at all life stages. Adults overwinter in groups in or around buildings for warmth, and can live up to two years. The range of the Ashy Gray Lady Beetle goes far into South America, but stops at the southern edge of Canada.