Ashy-Gray Lady Beetles

Gray form of Ashy-gray Lady Beetle (c) I dreamed about finding Ashy-Gray Lady Beetles (Olla v-nigrum) last night, which is as good an excuse as any to post about them here :)

Despite the name, not all of these beetles are gray; some are black with two red spots. They are also not the only gray lady beetles around – be careful of mistaking them for the 15-spotted Lady Beetle (Anatis labiculata). That species has spots evenly distributed on its body, while the Ashy-Gray Lady Beetle has more on the front end of the body than the rear. Also, some of its spots are heart-shaped – very charming!

Ashy-Gray Lady Beetles are, as far as I or anyone I’ve encountered knows, arboreal – they like to live in trees. That’s the only place I’ve ever found them, likewise for the entomologists I personally know. That doesn’t mean they are exclusively arboreal, but certainly if you are looking for them, you should look up! They eat tree aphids and possibly the occasional scale insect. Like almost all lady beetles they are a good thing for your yard and garden!

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