The beetles are 3.5 to 4.5 millimeters long and have an uncommon variety of forms. There are well over 100 different colour and pattern variations. Some differ to the extent that they are first considered separate species.
The background colour ranges from cream through yellow to light orange, but not red. Usually they have 14 black, almost rectangular spots on the elytra, but only rarely there are 14 separate spots. Most commonly, several of the spots fuse into larger markings, particularly along the midline, where they often create a shape resembling an anchor, sometimes fusing to such an extent that the yellow disappears almost completely as to render the body almost entirely black except for 12 pale yellow spots.
The pronotum is whitish or pale yellow, with four to eight black spots. The antennae and legs are yellowish brown.