Currently viewing the category: "Leaf Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Scarab Victorian Brooch
Location: Oregon
January 15, 2013 5:09 pm
This brooch had four beetles on it, but one fell off. If you Google, ”green scarab beetle,” lots of pictures of this species come up for sale called, ”antique Victorian brooch.” One website,, has the best pictures I have seen where one commenter says it’s not a scarab, but rather, a tortoise beetle (Chrysomelidae). I am interested in your opinion, and whether or not you know if a replacement to fix my brooch is possible.
Signature: Jerry Burke

Antique Tortoise Beetle Brooch

Hi Jerry,
We agree 100% that these are not Scarab Beetles, but rather, that they are Leaf Beetles in the family Chrysomelidae, possibly Tortoise Beetles in the tribe Cassidini.  Here are some examples of North American species from BugGuide.  We have never seen this particular species, but we did find other examples online of Victorian jewelry made with these beetles which are incorrectly being called Scarabs, as well as some modern jewelry by Lito Karakostanoglou.  We will continue to research this matter.

After finding numerous examples of Victorian Jewelry made with these Leaf Beetles incorrectly identified as being Scarab Beetles, we finally found the Mid-19th Century Jewelry website with this image correctly identified as being earings made of Tortoise Beetles.  The Evolution website has a pair of earrings with the species identified as Desmonota variolosa with this information:  “Tortoise Beetle Earrings – Desmonota variolosa  The tortoise beetle is a member of the leaf beetle subfamily. These tortoise beetles have been mounted on a pair of sterling silver earrings. Their beautiful green sheen is sure to attract attention and open the wearer up to a host of compliments.”  You might want to consider ordering a pair of earrings from Evolution and having a jeweler replace the missing Tortoise Beetle in your brooch.  According to Encyclopedia Britannica:  “The pits and grooves covering the South American leaf beetle Desmonota variolosa give it an iridescent green colour with depth resembling that of an emerald.”  There is a nice image of these beetles in the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery Collections website.  We have given up hunting for a photo online of a living Desmonota variolosa, but we just thought of a new search idea.

We did find a similar looking red Tortoise Beetle from Costa Rica on the Nature Closeups website that is identified as being in the genus Spaethiella.  We also found a gorgeous blue and red Tortoise Beetle from the Amazon on Green Tracks News identified as being in the genus Eugenysa.  Alas, we could not find any images of living Desmonota variolosa.  If any of our readers get lucky enough to find a photo of a living specimen of Desmonota variolosa, please comment on this posting.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: gold beetle?
Location: Ojai, California
January 11, 2013 9:09 am
My brother found this in his garden in southern California. Any idea what it is?
Thanks for your time.
Signature: Jeff

Tortoise Beetle

Dear Jeff,
This is a Tortoise Beetle in the tribe Cassidinae.  In trying to identify your species, the coloration looks most like the Anacua Tortoise Beetle,
Coptocycla texana, a species BugGuide lists only in Texas.  The markings look most like the Clavate Tortoise Beetle, Plagiometriona clavata, though we are not used to seeing this golden coloration in that species.  Interestingly, while researching this on BugGuide, we found your photo and the current opinion there, as posted by Ron M is:  “Although the golden shine… …doesn’t match any examples currently in the guide, I think it will be Clavate Tortoise Beetle (Plagiometriona clavata) but please wait for other opinions.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Red Beetle
Location: Ulu Belum, Perak, Malaysia
January 3, 2013 8:13 am
Found this beetle, beetle I think, at Ulu Belum, Perak, Malaysia.
Can you identify it
Signature: Asyraf

Leaf Beetle

Dear Asyraf,
This appears to us to be a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  We are not certain of the species.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: spiked
Location: Taman hutan insinyur haji juanda, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
December 5, 2012 4:54 am
I found this little guy in the forest 12/25/2010.
black on the back with spikes on it and gold on the other side.
size not more than 1 cm.
It flew from a tree to my friends arm where I took the photo.
Signature: Mohamad Idham Iskandar

Spiny Leaf Beetle

Dear Mohamad,
This is sure an interesting looking critter.  We haven’t the time to research it at this moment, but we want to post your photos.  We believe this might be a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.

Leaf Beetle, we believe

Update:  Spiny Leaf Beetle
Thanks to a comment from Trevor, we have this link to a Spiny Leaf Beetle in the genus

Thanks Daniel and Trevor for the id, it sure is an interesting looking little guy especially the gold color.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: South African Ladybug ID please
Location: Kruger National Park, South Africa
November 9, 2012 12:16 pm
I took this photo in Kruger Nat’l Park, South Africa in September (20-23), 2012. I can’t find it in my field guide nor in the 11 pages here. Thanks so much, should you be able to help me.
P.S. I have more photos if needed.
Signature: Elaine

Leaf Beetle, we presume

Dear Elaine,
We have not had any success with a species identification for you just yet.  We believe this is a Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.

Thanks so much for your time spent on this one, as I know it is a precious commodity with all the requests you receive. Most appreciated, Elaine

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weeping Willow Bug?
Location: North Carolina
October 14, 2012 11:27 am
Found this cocoon like bug on my weeping willow…what is it?
Signature: Does not matter

Beetle Pupae

Dear Does not matter,
These are Beetle Pupae, and our first thought is that they are most likely some species of Leaf Beetle in the family Chrysomelidae.  We are entertaining the possibility that they might be Imported Willow Leaf Beetle pupae,
Plagiodera versicolora, which we learned about on BugGuide.  Alas, BugGuide doesn’t have many pupae photos and those seem to be from the wrong angle to be certain.  They could also possibly be Lady Beetle pupae like the V-Marked Lady Beetle pupae pictured on MoBugs

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination