White Ladybug? – Identify It. Here are The Three Main Types


Ladybug Facts /

There are so many colors of Ladybugs around. There are also some colors that are just photoshopped images! So it’s nice to see an unusual colored one that IS actually real – and what could be nicer than a White Ladybug?

I’m assuming you arrived here because you just heard of them? Or you just found one and are looking to identify it? So what are White Ladybugs?

White Ladybug? There are three species of White Ladybug in the Coccinellid Family of Lady Beetles. The 15 Spotted Ladybeetle. White with 15 black spots. The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle, which comes in a number of forms, including a black version. And the rare 20 spotted Psyllobora vigintimaculata. Let’s identify yours

You might also refer to these Lady Beetles as Grey – or Gray Ladybugs, White Ladybugs, Black and White Ladybugs, Gray and Black Beetle and even Albino Ladybugs. Either way, this article answers the question for all of them and encompasses all those descriptions – as they amount to the same thing.

In order to establish which one you have out of the three though, let’s take a further look at them, and perhaps give you some additional facts and information about them at the same time.

The Albino Ladybug

I feel I need to address this name first, it’s not actually a specific type of Ladybug. What may look like an Albino Ladybug is merely a perception that a white and black ladybug must be an Albino! In fact, the truth is it’s likely one of the following three types of Ladybugs that you’ve actually found.

The 15 Spotted Lady Beetle

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia > Phylum: Euarthropoda > Class: Insecta > Order: Coleoptera > Family: Coccinellidae > Genus: Anatis > Species: A. labiculata

15 spotted lady beetle

This species was officially discovered in 1824. The main Lady Beetle ‘Family of Beetles’ was officially documented around 1807. So it wasn’t long after before the 15 spotted Lady Beetle was found and named.

image By discoverlife.org

If you have an image of this and would like to offer to send it in, then please leave a comment below and I’ll email you to take a look. Then I’d be happy to add some to the gallery (with permission of course)

This species is typically white, almost pure white in the case of younger ones, with 15 spots on its Elytra (the outer protective shell)

The White Ladybug that is the Fifteen Spotted Lady Beetle is a native species to North America, of which there are 400+ native species. If this is what you’ve found then sorry to disappoint you – but they’re actually fairly common.

Having said that, as mentioned, they actually get darker as they get older, so if you have a more pure white one then it’s still quite young.

In fact, it’s been spotted as far south as Argentina, so they appear to have spread into South America. Let me know where you located yours so I can get this verified, to help properly map any further migration.

fifteen spotted lady beetle location map
Denny the Ladybug

Did You Know…
The Elytra (shell) is made of the same material as your fingernails?
Show me more Amazing Facts About Ladybugs

Ashy Grey Lady Beetle

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia > Phylum: Arthropoda > Class: Insecta > Order: Coleoptera > Suborder: Polyphaga > Superfamily: Coccinelloidea > Family: Coccinellidae > Subfamily: Coccinellinae > Genus: Olla >  Species: Olla v-nigrum

Found and named by an entomologist called Mulcent in 1866.  The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle Coloring is a white or grey shell (elytra) and from 2, up to 15 black spots.

The shell may look ashen or mottled in color too. The Larva is the usual alligator shape, but with a flash of yellow stretching from it’s midway to head, and also across the lower abdomen.

Also, strangely, there’s a unique version of the Ashy Grey Lady Beetle in the same family – species called ‘twice stabbed’. The coloring on this is all black with red splashes – hence the name twice stabbed.

They have one large red splash (or large red dot) either side on of the Elytron. They have also been found to have Gray Elytra coloring with black spots

ashy grey lady beetle

Here’s a wonderfully captured photo of an Ashy Grey Lady Beetle Ladybug taken

Image by Arthur Scott Macmillan, California.

ashy grey lady beetle

The spots on Ladybugs fade over time, the same has occurred here for this Ashy Grey, so yours may look like this.

If so then treat it with care, it’s a ‘senior citizen’ in the Ladybug world!

Image source: By xpda – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

ashy grey lady beetle variant

Finally, here’s a variant on the Ashy Grey Lady Beetle – and I think my favorite of all the white ones!

Image by Salvador Vitanza, Arizona.

twice stabbed lady bird beetle
also available in black! – called ‘twice stabbed’ ladybird beetle

The Ashy Gray Lady Beetle is also native to North America and also believed to have traveled extensively through South America. Again do let me know where you have seen these types so I can verify and help track migration progress

ashy grey lady beetle location map
ashy grey lady beetle

Here’s one sent in by Rachael Andrews, this one was actually found in Okinawa, Japan – seems they’re spreading!

Looks dark in color so it could be an older one too.

ashy-gray-ladybug-jenny-sanders

Here’s another great photo of an Ashy Gray Lady Beetle kindly sent in by Jennie, found in Loma Linda, Ca.

Does Ashy Gray Lady Beetle Bite

Ashy Gray Lady Beetles do bite, some ladybugs are more likely to bite than others.

However, white Ladybug bites are generally not harmful at all to humans and might only cause minor irritation. Unless you have a particular reaction to beetle bites, in which case I would urge you to consult your doctor if you are unsure or have anything other than a minor red area.

Ladybugs are only likely to bite you either if they feel threatened enough to use one of their five protection mechanisms, or if they mistake your warm skin for a soft-bodied insect. Or one of the other things that Ladybugs eat.

ashy grey lady beetle
image gallery source bugguide
Ben the ladybug

Quick Quiz
How high can a Ladybug fly?
600’, 3600’ or 5600’

Find the Answer here

Finally, we have the very rare…

Twenty-Spotted Lady Beetle

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia > Phylum: Euarthropoda > Class: Insecta > Order: Coleoptera > Family: Coccinellidae > Genus: Psyllobora > Species: P. vigintimaculata

These are pretty rare. If you see one then do take a photo and send it in. They’re found (sometimes!) in most parts of North America so wherever you live there’s a chance of finding one. It’s not yet known if they’ve migrated to South America.

twenty spotted lady beetle location map

The 20 spotted Ladybug is quite rare. Their coloring is predominantly white Elytra, with a mottled spot effect that often seems to blend into one another.

If you’ve found one that you can’t seem to identify then please send it to me and I’ll try to investigate further.

ladybug - purple denny

Ever seen a Purple Ladybug?

General Grey or White Ladybug Questions

Are Grey Ladybugs Poisonous

Grey or white Ladybugs are definitely not poisonous to humans. If they bite it should only cause minor irritation – except in extreme cases. And there’s no venom in their bite. If in doubt or you have a reaction to it then consult your doctor.

If you swallow one, don’t panic. You would have to eat a hundred or more before you really started to feel ill. Aside from that being cruel, I don’t recommend it! For one thing they can taste pretty bad.

Grey Ladybug or White Ladybug Meaning, (and Spiritual Symbolism)

A white Ladybug arriving in your life, or dreams carries the same meaning as all other Ladybugs.

Therefore, a White Ladybug symbolizes many things, mostly, prosperity, Luck and Protection.  For full details of what Ladybugs mean in dreams, lore, legend – and when they land on you, refer to my article What Ladybugs Mean, in Love, Luck Signs and Symbols.

What Do White Ladybugs Eat?

White Ladybugs eat the same as most (but not all) Ladybirds. They love dining mostly on Aphids and Mealybugs, but will also eat other food types.

Do White Ladybugs Bite?

All Ladybugs bite, but their bite is not harmful to humans, unless you have an allergy to bites from beetles, if so you should consult a doctor. There are no toxins or poisons of any kind passed through their bite. They are just protecting themselves, or thought you were a potential meal!

Conclusion

White Ladybugs are something special, like little angels of the Ladybug world. I know they’re actually fairly common for the most part, but I do wish there were more of them around.

I hope you found this useful, if so please share it and pass round the White Ladybug love in the world. Also, be sure to check my specially collected Ladybug gifts for protection and beauty, as well as lots of Ladybug Educational resources to help you give that perfect Ladybug class or home lesson.

Related Questions

Can ladybugs live in the cold? Ladybugs have an annual cycle which includes the need to hibernate through cold weather. During winter months they cannot fly and so find a slightly warmer place to stay and enter a state known as diapause, or hibernating state.

Whilst hibernating, Ladybugs only expend about 10% of their energy levels, whilst surviving on body fats. They will often find refuge in houses.

4 Replies to “White Ladybug? – Identify It. Here are The Three Main Types”

  1. Hi,
    Just wanted to touch base with someone who may actually have knowledge about ladybugs!! My daughter and I found a white ladybug with what looks like love heart shaped dots. We couldn’t find any damaging information about it so we let it out in our garden. Ladybugs are actually quite rare here. I wish we had lots more to help eat all of the aphids. Anyhoo, I hope it is a safe ladybug for the garden and we didn’t unknownly let some horrible pest get out into our backyard. Thank you for your time!

    1. Hey Lisa, thank you and your daughter for dropping by. The Ashy Grey Lady Beetle is the only known species with Heart Shaped spots, so I’m thinking you were on the right page. I’ve updated the article to include the variant with the larger two heart spots. This may also be what you saw.

      They’re fairly common, and they’re definitely ‘good bugs’ so I hope it helps your plants! You said you don’t see many Ladybugs – where are you based? 🙂

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