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Ashy Gray Lady Beetle (Olla v-nigrum)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ashy Gray Lady Beetle

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Image Credit: Sandie M. from Tucson, AZ
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Placed next to each other, the varieties of Ashy Gray Lady Beetles would have one believe they are looking at different species.

Updated: 01/02/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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 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.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Patterned insect icon
Rounded insect body icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Coccinellidae
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          Genus: Olla
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            Species: v-nigrum
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Olla v-nigrum
Other Name(s): Ashy Grey Lady Beetle, Ash Gray Lady Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 6mm (0.11" to 0.23")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: white; gray; black; red; yellow
Descriptors: spots; dots; signate; stabbed; round; dome; helmet; spiky; bumpy; alligator; flying

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 3mm (0.1in) and 6mm (0.2in)
Lo: 3mm
Md: 4.5mm
Hi: 6mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Ashy Gray Lady Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Ashy Gray Lady Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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