The black spots on a ladybug's back work as a defense mechanism, as the insects possess a chemical that tastes bitter to small animals and birds. When a potential predator is near, the ladybug's spots and bright colors serve as a reminder that the insects are inedible.
Ladybugs are red, orange, yellow or black in color. Most ladybug species are spotted, but certain species only have two spots, while others can have as many as 13 spots. Multicolored Asian ladybug shells have several color patterns that include red with tiny black dots, red with multiple black spots, and black with thick red spots. Convergent ladybugs have orange shells with multiple black spots. Twice-stabbed ladybugs have solid black shells with single red spots on each side.