Beetles are some of the typical bugs of North America, Europe, and the rest of the world. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colors.
Beetles with spots can stand out among them. They can have a fixed number of spots or a variable number of spots.
These types of bugs with spots feed on vegetation, flowers, or other insects. They are found across North America, especially around woodlands and water sources such as streams and rivers.
Here are some of the most common beetles with spots and the number of spots they’re known for.
Ladybugs (family Coccinellidae) are some of the most common types of beetles with spots. While there are many beetles without spots, the family of Coccinellidae has multiple species with spots.
An oval shape and colorful elytra are specific to this family of bugs. Ladybugs such as the Seven-spotted Ladybirds (Coccinella septempunctata) have a main red color with 7 contrasting black spots.
Some of the ladybugs with the highest number of spots include the 22-Spot Ladybird (Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata) which has 22 black spots and a main yellow color. This species has spots both on the pronotum and on the elytra.
Number of spots – 0 to 22
2. Spotted Cucumber Beetle
Spotted Cucumber Beetles (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) are one of the species of bugs with a fixed number of spots.
These types of bugs are known as pests, also found in North America.
A bright yellow elytron makes these bugs stand out. Black spots are seen on the elytra, offering the bugs a contrasting look.
There are a fixed number of spots on this species which gets a total of 12 black spots.
Young Spotted Cucumber Beetles feed on the roots of cucumber plants while adults eat the leaves and the flowers of cucumbers, requiring management techniques.
Number of spots – 12
3. Six-spotted Tiger Beetle
A type of predatory bug, the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) is a species that typically has 6 white spots and a metallic green color.
Its spots are white and normally located toward the edges of the beetles.
Typically found in woodlands, these types of beetles may have even more spots or even no spots at all.
Known predators, Six-spotted Tiger Beetles may bite when roughly handled.
They typically look for prey such as spiders and ants, with the occasional caterpillar or grasshopper.
Number of spots – 0 to 6+
4. Red Milkweed Beetle
A herbivore feeding on milkweed, Red Milkweed Beetles (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) are known for their numerous black spots.
They have 4 fused spots on the pronotum and at least 5 black spots on each elytrum.
This species has a red, rust-red, or brown-red color. It can be found around woodlands and it tends to be found in high numbers on disturbed sites.
Feeding on toxic plants, the Red Milkweed Beetle also absorbs the toxins of these plants. These bugs have a few predators due to their bad taste and red and black coloring.
Number of spots – 0 to 18
5. Eastern Eyed Click Beetle
2 large eyespots and numerous other types of tiny spots are seen on Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus). This is a species that evolved into having eyespots that make it appear threatening or even another species.
Its eyespots keep predators away. Small birds and reptiles are among the most common predators of the species.
These types of spotted bugs feed on other bugs in their larvae stage and become herbivorous as they become adults which only feed on plant leaves and flowers.
Knowing for their capacity to catapult themselves in a fast escaping movement, Eastern Eyed Click Beetles are native to American woodlands.
Number of spots – 2
6. Eastern Hercules Beetle
Each Eastern Hercules Beetle (Dynastes tityus) has a varying number of spots on its elytra. These spots are black and vary in shape and size.
The color of this species is impacted by the moisture in its habitat.
Commonly found around Eastern US habitats, Eastern Hercules Beetles may use their spotted appearance to defend themselves from predators.
Large predators such as raccoons typically go after these beetles.
Number of spots – up to 100
7. Grapevine Beetle
Grapevine Beetles (Pelidnota punctata) are found in a yellow color and typically show 4 black spots on the elytra.
The Grapevine Beetles living in Southern states might only have 4 spots or less, while a small percentage has none.
Bugs of the species living in Northern states may sometimes have more than 4 spots.
As its name suggests, this type of beetle eats grapevines. It can eat cultivated grapes which means management techniques are required against it.
Eastern US habitats are specific to the species. From Florida to Southeastern Canada, this type of beetle can be spotted in the summer.
Number of spots – 0 to 4
8. Blue Fungus Beetle
Blue Fungus Beetles (Cypherotylus californicus) are among the species which have numerous black spots. These black spots are arranged in different patterns which depend on one individual to another.
The beetles of the species have dark blue elytra as they emerge in early summer. This elytra color darkens as they age.
The dark spots of the elytra are still visible as the bug grows. Its legs and pronotum are also black.
The range of the species covers Southern US and Northern Mexico territories.
It can be found in the Southwestern states.
Number of spots – 0 to 100
9. Red-femured Milkweed Borer
You can distinguish this type of milkweed borer (Tetraopes femoratus) from other milkweed borers by the black and white bands on the antennae as all of these bugs have a similar and varying number of spots.
Red elytra and a red pronotum are specific to these bugs. Up to 4 black spots are found on the pronotum while up to 10 black spots are seen on the elytra.
As their name implies, these types of borer bugs are found on milkweed. They feed on milkweed blooms, absorbing their toxins and becoming unpalatable to predators.
Number of spots – up to 14
10. Argus Tortoise Beetle
Argus Tortoise Beetles (Chelymorpha cassidea) typically come with 21 black spots on the elytra and the pronotum.
This number isn’t fixed as some Argus Tortoise Beetles count up to 100 spots.
Yellow, orange, or red colors are specific to the species. All of these colors are backed by black spots.
Some of these bugs feed on flowers such as milkweed and morning glory flowers while others eat the leaves and flowers of fruit-bearing plants.
The multiple spots of the species and their bright colors help keep predators such as aphids away.
Argus Tortoise Beetles are found around The Gulf of Mexico and in The Caribbean Islands.
Number of spots – 21 to 100
11. Ocellated Tiger Beetle
A dark green body or a green to golden uniform color is specific to the Ocellated Tiger Beetles (Cicindela ocellata).
Tiger beetles of this genus number around 10 spots on the elytra. Some bugs may have more spots while others have no spots at all.
Sandy areas are the ideal habitat for these beetles. They live on dunes and beaches where they burrow underground and wait for insects and small bugs to pass by to pounce on them.
Oceallated Tiger Beetles rarely bite humans as they prefer to flee. Roughly handling these beetles may lead to an occasional bite.
While they can fly, Ocellated Tiger Beetles are poor fliers and prefer to roam around water for food instead of flying.
Number of spots – 10
12. Four-spotted Sap Beetle
4 brown spots are seen on the species of beetles named after their appearance. Four-spotted Sap Beetles (Glischrochilus quadrisignatus) are black with 2 brown spots on each elytra.
Found across North America, Four-spotted Sap Beetles are known to like decaying plants and fruits.
Decaying plants are their ideal locations to lay eggs in.
As they grow, Four-spotted Sap Beetles eat overripe fruit. They eat fermenting fruit and fermenting fruit juices.
Management is required against Four-spotted Sap Beetles which are actual pests. They can invade various crops, especially fruit crops.
Number of spots – 4
13. Ironweed Curculio
Growing up to 11mm, Ironweed Curculio (Rhodobaenus tredecimpunctatus) is one of the spotted beetles that helps control invasive species such as ironweed.
Most beetles of this family have around 13 spots on the pronotum and the elytra. A smaller number of Ironweed Curculio can have 11-12 spots or 14-15 spots as well.
Typically red or red-brown, this species can also darken as it ages.
Found in high numbers across states such as Florida, Ironweed Curculio feeds on ironweed, ragweed, and different other types of asters.
The stems and the leaves of its host plants are eaten first, followed by their flowers.
Number of spots – 13+
14. Eight-spotted Flea Beetle
Eight-spotted Flea Beetles (Omophoita cyanipennis) have 4 large white spots on each elytra. They also have a smaller spot or white mark on the head.
This species has black elytra and a red and black pronotum. Their legs are red while the antennae are black and red.
The size and shape of its spots can vary considerably. Some Eight-spotted Flea Beetles only have 4 large spots covering most of the elytra while others have smaller spots that allow the black elytra color to be more visible.
The species is active from the early season, starting in February. It can be found in Southern habitats including regions of Texas and Northern Mexico.
Number of spots – 9
15. Eight-spotted Tumbling Flower Beetle
8 yellow, white, or orange spots are seen on The Eight-spotted Tumbling Flower Beetle (Hoshihananomia octopunctata).
Found across North America, the Eight-spotted Tumbling Flower Beetle is a species with an elongated abdomen tip.
This elongated tip allows the species to tumble or even jump when moving around or trying to escape predators.
Bugs of the Eight-spotted Tumbling Flower Beetle genus are known to feed on different flowers and their leaves.
Queen Anne’s Lace is one of the typical flowers this species feeds on.
As a result, these types of spotted bugs are found in and around mixed-tree woodlands.
Number of spots – 8
16. Spotted Asparagus Beetle
Spotted Asparagus Beetles (Crioceris duodecimpunctata) are among the multiple types of spotted bugs that are also pests.
As its name implies, this is a species that feeds on asparagus and which is also present in North America.
Invading asparagus crops, this beetle lays eggs directly in asparagus. These eggs hatch in the spring and in the summer while young beetles eat their way out of the asparagus stems.
The specie is mostly seen in orange wing coloring with occasional red sightings.
5 black spots are seen on each wing, making for easier identification.
A considerable pest of asparagus, this type of beetle causes considerable economic losses. Most of its impact is signaled in the spring when new sprouts are seen on crops.
Fresh asparagus is always favored by the beetle.
Number of spots – 10
17. Cottonwood Borer
A varying number of spots is seen on the Cottonwood Borer (Plectrodera scalator), one of the largest pest bugs in North America.
This species has large black spots and a white or off-white body.
It can be found feeding on cottonwood. The damage to these host trees varies from insignificant to severe.
One of the times when the impacted trees can suffer is in high wind, as Cottonwood Borers weaken their tree structure.
A large Cottonwood Borer grows to a size of 1.6 inches, comparable to the size of a cockroach.
They inflict girdling damage to trees when they eat away the tree bark exposing the wood of the tree and killing it in the exposed area.
Number of spots – 20+
18. Cocklebur Weevil
An orange or red color is specific to Coklebur Weevils (Rhodobaenus quinquepunctatus).
This species has a varying number of black spots, but rarely more than 13. Many of the spots on its wings are fused.
The species can be seen as beneficial as it can feed on different types of weeds in North America.
Cocklebur and ragweed are among their typical host plants. They can also eat different other types of invasive and non-invasive asters.
Number of spots – up to 13
19. Twelve-spotted Tiger Beetle
Native to Eastern US states, Twelve-spotted Tiger Beetles (Cicindela duodecimguttata) have 12 distinctive white spots on the elytra.
As with most types of tiger beetles, these spots are typically arranged on the lower part of the elytra, towards the tip of the abdomen.
Dark gray or dark brown uniform coloring is specific to the species. Some bugs of this species also have metallic green areas on the pronotum.
Fine white hairs are also specific to the ventral side of the species.
This type of tiger beetle likes to live close to water. It prefers rocky and sandy terrains in moist areas, such as along streams and rivers.
Number of spots – 12
20. Six-spotted Neolema
Native to The Eastern parts of North America, Six-spotted Neolema tiger beetles (Neolema sexpunctata) have 6 black spots and an orange-red base color.
Some of these beetles show atypical patterning of the spots. Most have 6 black spots and can be spotted feeding on various wildflowers.
Purple wildflowers such as Inchplant and Dayflower are among its typical hosts.
Number of spots – 6
21. Six-spotted Flower Longhorn Beetle
6 black spots on the bright orange elytra are specific to The Six-spotter Flower Longhorn Beetle (Strangalia sexnotata).
This is a species known for its medium size among longhorn beetles, as it grows to 0.5 inches, and for its coastal habitats.
It’s often seen feeding on wildflowers in the sunflower family. Its bright orange coloring helps it camouflage itself on these flowers.
Pink wildflowers such as Strangalia luteicornis are often a host for this species in Southern and Southeastern US habitats.
Number of spots – 6
22. Four-spotted Fungus Beetle
This type of spotted beetle (Ischyrus quadripunctatus) feeds on the various tree fungi in North America.
It features 4 fused black and mostly tan or light brown colors, similar to the fungi it feeds on trees.
The species can overwinter under leaves in woodlands and it typically lives in small groups.
Its size can reach 0.8 inches for the beetles that survive a long time and also have access to fungus to eat.
Four-spotted Fungus beetles are found around Texas, Arizona, and Mexico.
Number of spots – 4
23. Spotted Longhorn Beetle
Eastern habitats are specific to this North America Beetle. It lives on The East Coast from Maryland to Northern Florida.
This species (Hyperplatys aspersus) has a base blue or gray color. It darkens as it ages. Multiple black spots are seen along its body.
Adult Spotted Longhorn Beetles can reach a maximum size of 0.9 inches.
The pattern and shape of the spots vary considerably, from one individual to another.
Bugs of this genus have long lifespans of up to a few years. They can live undetected under tree bark for years.
Spotted Longhorn Beetle larvae only feed on rotting wood under the bark.
Number of spots – 40+