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.
Scientific Name: Olla v-nigrum
Other Name(s): Ashy Grey Lady Beetle, Ash Gray Lady Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 6mm (0.12in to 0.23in)
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.