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

Subject: Beetle from Peru
Location: Central Peru
January 2, 2014 7:08 pm
Please help me to identify this beetle from the cloudforest in Peru (photo taken at about 1.200 m Elevation on the eastern slope of the Andes). Thank you!
Signature: Frank

Tortoise Beetle

Tortoise Beetle

Dear Frank,
We are in awe of the bold, complimentary colors of this stunning Tortoise Beetle in the subfamily Cassidinae and tribe Cassidini.  This Peruvian Amazon relative pictured on FlickR bears a resemblance and we would would not doubt they might both be in the genus
Eugenysa, or this individual also on FlickR and also from Peru and also tentatively in the genus Eugenysa.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Tortoise Beetle?
Location: Baltimore, MD
June 27, 2013 7:42 pm
I found this cute little guy on the side of my coffee mug. He looked like a drop of gold! I snapped a few photos, and when I scrolled in for a closer look I realized that the edges of his exoskeleton are actually translucent! Very beautiful insect!
Signature: Enchantedmama

Tortoise Beetle

Golden Tortoise Beetle

Dear Enchantedmama,
We have to admit that we were drawn to your submission because of your beguiling signature.  Thank you for submitting a wonderful photo of a Golden Tortoise Beetle,
 Charidotella sexpunctata. We hope you continue to be enchanted by the world of insects.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Weird bug with turtle shape
Location: Southern Connecticut
May 21, 2013 1:09 pm
The bug crawled over to my friend, and we both hadn’t seen anything like it. She immediately noticed what looks like a turtle on the back of the bug, while the edges are semi-translucent. We brought it outside and it disappeared shortly after.
Signature: AF

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Dear AF,
Obviously the Clavate Tortoise Beetle is aptly named if you thought it resembled a turtle.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Can you help me?
Location: Pennsylvania , USA
May 11, 2013 2:30 pm
I found this bug on my door outside and I never seen a gold bug before. Can you tell me what type it is?
Signature: Tom R.

Tortoise Beetle

Tortoise Beetle

Hi Tom,
This beautiful insect that looks like a drop of gold paint is a Golden Tortoise Beetle,
Charidotella sexpunctata, and it feeds on the leaves of morning glories and other plants in the family Convolvulaceae.  Golden Tortoise Beetles are capable of changing colors, and much to the dismay of insect collectors, they lose their lovely golden color after death.  See Bugguide for additional information on the Golden Tortoise Beetle.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Metallic Green Bug
Location: Northern Costa Rica
May 2, 2013 1:58 pm
I encountered these insects on the edge of the forest in Northern Costa Rica. At first I thought they were some sort of beetle, but I found the same plants also had what seem to be nymphs of the same species. Searching for some ID for them online I came up empty. My guess is some sort of shield bug.
Signature: Siggy

Tortoise Beetle

Tortoise Beetle:  Omocerus casta

Dear Siggy,
You have two distinct insect orders represented in your request, and at least two, and possibly three different species.  The “metallic green bug” is actually a Tortoise Beetle, and we believe it is in the genus
Omocerus based on an image we located on The Befuddled Loris (scroll down) and verified on the Coleoptera of Costa Rica where it is identified as Omocerus casta.  This same beetle can also be found on the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Discover Life.

Stink Bug Nymph

Stink Bug Nymph

The other two creatures are Hemipteran nymphs and we believe they are different species.  They are most likely Stink Bugs in the family Pentatomidae.

Stink Bug Nymph

Stink Bug Nymph

Daniel,
Well that clarifies things a bit. I found several of each kind of the insects I sent images of in the same small area, so I thought they must be of the same species. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

 

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, http://wanderinweeta.blogspot.com/2010/07/ancient-mystery-beetle.html, 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