Gold/green transparant beetle
Tue, Feb 3, 2009 at 9:46 AM
I live in on Grand Cayman. Whilst volunteering for the Blue Iguanas at the Botanical Park last week, this beetle came out of the bucket of leaves we had collected. I can’t seem to find it on any websites so I need your help!! I have attached some photographs which should help with the ID. The transparent shell was over the wings (but split like a ladybird) and the inner half of this was coloured gold and green and speckled with blue. It had a 3rd part to the transparent shell which went over it’s head like a shield bug. The underside of it’s abdomen was also shiny. Total length maybe about 1 centimetre. It was quite happy walking around (trying to navigate my hairy arms!) but when my frined picked it up so we could get a photo of its underside it ‘crouched’ so it was very difficult to pick up.
I’ve attached some photos for you but have lots more (including one of it about to take off!) let me know if you would like to see some more.
East End, Grand Cayman
This is some species of Tortoise Beetle. Tortoise Beetles are Leaf Beetles in the tribe Cassidini. The gorgeous metallic coloration vanishes after the insect dies, so mounted Tortoise Beetles in collections are not as beautiful as they are alive. Some Tortoise Beetles are called Gold Bugs.
Update: Monday, February 6, 2009
This looks like a tortoise beetle in the genus Eurypepla ( Chrysomelidae : Hispinae : Ischyrosonychini [=Physonotini]). It looks very much like E. calochroma, the Geiger Tortoise Beetle, varieties of which are found in south Florida and the Bahamas. Closely related species occur in Cuba (E. vitrea) and Jamaica (E. jamaicensis). Distribution information is very hard to find and it could be any of the above. Bugguide has some excellent images of the Geiger Tortoise Beetle, under the name Physonota calochroma. Apparently the generic placement of this species has been debated for a long time, but the current trend appears to lean toward Eurypepla. The Geiger Tortoise beetle is considered a mild pest in Florida where its preferred host is the Geiger Tree (Cordia sebestena). Regards.