Subject: Black Ladybug?
Geographic location of the bug: Ventura, California
Time: 01:04 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Dear Bugman,
I have been seeing so many fabulous bugs this summer but mostly practicing mindfulness and present moment awareness and haven’t captured many pictures for you to identify- but this evening on a neighborhood walk I spotted a black ladybug (?) and wondered if that is a thing?
How you want your letter signed: Melanie on the Irish Chain
Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Based on this BugGuide image, this is the “Conspicua Form” of the Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis. The common name refers to the extreme color variations possible in this introduced species, including the familiar orange with black spots, but the number of spots may vary, the background color ranges from light to deep orange, and often the spots are absent. Of the “Conspicua form” BugGuide states: “A melanic (darkly pigmented) form of Harmonia axyridis. Entirely black with a white central head marking, two rounded pronotum markings, and two red or orange elytral markings. Occasional extreme variants may have reduced or absent white markings on the pronotum. The extended black pigmentation forms a layer over the usual pattern. Thus, sometimes the standard pattern shows through. In these cases, a black spot from the usual form will show over the red marking, creating a crescent or C-shaped spot.” Your individual displays the “C-shaped spot.”