Ladybugs can be red, yellow, orange, gray, black, brown or pink in color. When the adult ladybug first emerges from the pupa state, its colors and patterns look very dull. However, as the soft exoskeleton hardens, ladybugs develop their characteristic bright colors. In nature, these bright colors are indicative of an animal being poisonous or foul tasting or having the ability to defend itself.
Ladybugs vary in both color and pattern. Some ladybugs have no pattern at all, but those that are patterned may have different numbers and sizes of spots or stripes. As ladybugs age, the color of their pattern fades, but the pattern remains throughout their lifespan. There are about 5,000 different species of ladybugs in the world with over 400 types in North America alone.The most common ladybug in North America is the seven-spotted ladybug, which is indigenous to Europe but was brought to North America in the middle of the 20th century. The seven-spotted ladybug can be red or orange and has seven spots - three on each side and one in the middle. Another prevalent ladybug species is the convergent lady beetle. This ladybug is a reddish color and has a pair of white convergent markings on the shell. The convergent lady beetle also has between zero and 13 spots that are 4 to 7mm in length.