The ashy grey lady beetle is both stylish and deadly.
We’ve all seen the red domed lady bugs of popular culture, with their shiny black dots, but what about the black lady beetles with red dots?
There are only four types of black lady beetles with red spots. The twicestabbed lady beetle (Chilocorus orbus), Axion plagiatum, Chilocorus kuwanae, and the ashy grey (Olla v-nigrum). Unlike other lady beetles, however, the ashy grey comes in two forms: dark and tan, which can be changed at will!
Ashy grey lady beetle description
Ashy grey lady beetles are sometimes ashy grey or tan, with black spots. At other times, they are black with red spots. Before they reach their domed adulthood, ashy grey lady beetles look more like tiny alligators with yellow spots.
And before that, as pupae, they look like little orangish-yellow nubs. As eggs, they look like clusters of yellow, usually found on the underside of leaves, close to prey.
Ashy grey lady beetle prey
While ashy grey lady beetles do feed on the eggs of butterflies and moths, the lion’s share of their diet consists of aphids and psyllids. Since aphids and psyllids are both disease-carrying, plant-sucking pests, we can use as many lady beetles as we can get in the garden.
To attract ashy grey lady beetles and other beneficial insects to your yard, avoid using broad spectrum pesticides, provide fresh, clean water, and plant a variety of insectary plants, such as dill, lavender, chives, mint, tansy, and yarrow, just to name a few.
How many different types of lady beetles are in your garden?
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!