What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found a very interesting bug on my sunflowers, it resembles a lady bug in size and shape, but the body, when I found it, was a bright gold, but the wings are a translucent opalescent color. It caught my eye because I thought it was a shiny gold bead stuck to the leaf. When I put the bug in a jar, its color changed to a ladybug red, but without the black dots. I would send a picture, but not able to get one scanned. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and know a ladybug when I see it, but I have never seen a gold ladybug, or a gold ANY bug.
Dear Joanni,
I love when someone writes in about a new insect to add to our list. You have found a Tortoise Beetle, also known as a Gold Bug, probably Coptocycla aurichalcea var. bicolor, also known as Metriona bicolor. Lutz quotes Harris as saying “When living it has the power of changing its hues, at one time appearing only of a dull yellow color, and at other times shining with the splendor of polished brass or gold, tinged sometimes also with variable tints of pearl. The wing-covers, the parts wihch exhibit a change of color, are lined beneath with an orange colored paint, which seems to be filled with little vessels; and these are probably the source of the changeable brilliancy of the insect.” Lutz also writes that the “larva are called peddlers” because they carry their cast off skins after molting, appearing like a bit of mud or bird dropping. They eat sweet potato and Convolvulaceae, members of the morning glory family.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
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14 Responses to gold ladybug?

  1. Nikole says:

    I found one of these gold bugs in my daughters hair today, April 23, 2013, and had no idea what it was until I read these posts about it. I noticed that it is written in Lincoln, Nebraska which is really cool because I am in Longview, Washington and never seen anything like it.

  2. Steve Poyiatzi says:

    I found this Gold bug stuck to my door. It looked like a miniature lady bug. I got nervous about germs so I flicked it off my hand. Maybe I should have kept it. I live in Drayton, Ontario, which is no where hear Nebraska. any comments

  3. Ken says:

    We live in NB and we have seen 3 gold lady bugs here this month.

  4. Trudy Conroy says:

    We just found one on a morning glory in Newport, RI ……very pretty but does it eat the leaves? On the leaf where we found it are many holes.

  5. Bec says:

    Have been seeing these on my sweet potato vines in NY for many years

  6. Pam says:

    My husband was working on the river in SC and found one on his leg.

  7. D. FORE says:

    I also, found a tiny gold bug on my sweet potato vine last week. I took the leaf it was on and place it inside a glass jar with air holes punched in the lid. The leaf had a small eaten-out hole where the bug was (obviously made by the gold bug )
    Today after checking the bug and the wilting leaf with many more holes now, I placed a fresh leaf in the jar and immediately the bug began to eat on this new leaf. The bug is still a beautiful “golden”.color I feel so bad to keep it confined OR to release it to devour other plants. What do I do ? My camera doesn’t recognize the color GOLD, It just looks black in the picture. This is the 1st. gold bug I have seen since I was a little girl, many years ago. I placed it innocently inside my pocket to show my Mother—( and I’m sure you know the rest of that story !) LOL

  8. Lillie Henson says:

    I live in AR. and found one of them in my grand daughters bedroom. I did not know that there were any that color.

  9. thomas rocco says:

    We just found a beautiful specimen in our flower garden; it either is eating the leaves of one of our plants or it is frequenting a plant that someone else is eating. We are in the Hudson Valley about 80 miles north of NYC and neither of us had seen this golden tortoise beetle before. Are the common here and we have just not been attentive enough or is this one an exotic for our region of the state?

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