Currently viewing the category: "Tortoise Beetles"
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Subject: Arizona
Location: Tucson, Arizona
September 1, 2015 8:23 pm
Hi Bugman!
We live in Tucson and have had a lot of rain this year. We took the kids to the waterfalls at Tanque Verde and found a few of these odd bugs. They look like a cross between some kind of caterpillar and a scorpion (at least how the tail curls up?)
They were right near the shrubs by the water and some just on the rocks. I have been here 11 years and never come across these before- I am thinking its a larvae for something? Any ideas?
Signature: Lara

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Lara,
Five years ago, we had some difficulty trying to identify the Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva,
Physonota arizonae, but now there are more images available online.  The shrub upon which you found them is most likely the Canyon Ragweed.  It is interesting that the images you provided show two projections at the tip of the abdomen, while our previously posted images show fecal droppings carried at the tip of the abdomen, so we presume the projections have adapted for that purpose, perhaps as camouflage or to make the larva less appetizing.  Many species of Tortoise Beetles have larvae that behave similarly.

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

Arizona Tortoise Beetle Larva

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Subject: beautiful tiny jewel bug
Location: north texas
August 22, 2015 12:13 pm
This little guy landed in our car today and let me take a few photos before flying away. I have never seen his kind before. Would love to put a name to his fabulousness
Signature: randi odom

Tortoise Beetle

Mottled Tortoise Beetle

Dear Randi,
We believe we have correctly identified your Tortoise Beetle as a Mottled Tortoise Beetle,
Deloyala guttata, based on images posted to BugGuide where it is described as:  “broadly oval; margins of pronotum and elytra clear or golden, elytra usually mottled black and yellow but can vary from completely orangish-yellow to completely black.”  Like other Tortoise Beetles, both adults and larvae feed on the leaves of morning glories and other plants in the family Convolvulaceae.

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Subject: Blue Monster
Location: East central Alabama
August 17, 2015 10:56 am
I was hiking last weekend near a small stream and saw this heart shaped leaf. Upon looking closer, I noticed a very small blue bug that appeared to look like the monster in Little Shop of Horrors. It had a large mouth and spiky barbs surrounding its body. Any thoughts?
Signature: Howard

Tortoise Beetle Larva

Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Howard,
This is a Tortoise Beetle Larva, and we think chances are very good that it is a Golden Tortoise Beetle larva,
Charidotella sexpunctata, based on this BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide, they feed on “leaves of various Convolvulaceae” the family that includes morning glories, and many species have heart shaped leaves.  The spiny larva of many Tortoise Beetles produce a fecal shell of droppings that acts as camouflage or protection.

Daniel,
I appreciate the response. I’m 47 and have read many sci fi books. I didn’t know if this was a bug I didn’t recognize or if I needed to contact the CDC.
Thanks,
Howard

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Subject: Identification Needed!
Location: Hetauda, Central Region, Nepal
July 30, 2015 5:58 pm
Hello Bugman,
I have this little creature that looks amazing, i have always found it living and feeding on Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd leaves.
Now please give me name. Thank you very much.
Signature: Suman Acharya

Probably Tortoise Beetle Larva

Probably Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Suman,
Our initial web search did not produce any matching images while searching with the key word Nepal, but we believe, based on the similarity in appearance to other species from other locales that we have identified, that this is the larva of a Tortoise Beetle in the tribe Cassidini.  Here is an image of a North American individual from BugGuide.  The larvae of Tortoise Beetles are often quite spiny, they feed on leaves and they are often very host specific.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide some more specific information.

Probably Tortoise Beetle Larva

Probably Tortoise Beetle Larva

Probably Tortoise Beetle Larva

Probably Tortoise Beetle Larva

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Subject: Indentify bug
Location: Cartago, Costa Rica
July 17, 2015 9:59 am
Hi Mr. Bugman, I found a weird bug, but nobody can tell me what kind of bug is, maybe you can help me to to identify it. Thank you so much
Signature: Jc Nuñez

Unknown Horned Larva

Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle Pupa

Dear Jc Nuñez,
Wow, you nearly had us stumped.  This is such a unique looking creature that we thought it would be easier to identify.  We believe it is some larval or pupal stage of an insect.  We wish your image had better details as we cannot even begin to try to classify this creature.  Our best guess at this time is that this is the Pupa of a Tortoise Beetle from the subfamily Cassidinae based on its resemblance to this image, also from Costa Rica, posted on FlickR.  It is obvious that they are not the same species, but there are similarities.  Not wanting to give up, we continued to search and we found an image on FlickR from Mexico that is identified as the larva and adult Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle, but alas, there is no scientific name.  The poster, Seth Patterson, writes:  “one of most common here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is a larger species that feeds on our Mexican Wild Olive trees. They are called the Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle. My first encounter with this species left me truly smitten. I actually didn’t first encounter the ‘beetle’ (adult stage) but rather the larval stage. Their spiny, robust bodies are incredibly similar in appearance to the prehistoric trilobites. When threatened, the larvae raise their forked tails in an imposing display. Of course, they are all show and completely harmless to humans.”  The leaves in your image do resemble the leaves of an olive, so we continued to search.  The Texas Entomology page identifies the Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle as
Physonota alutacea, but there is no image of the pupa.  This image of a pupa of the Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle on BugGuide looks like an exact match to your critter.

Unknown Horned Larva

Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle Pupa

Hi, you are really, really great !!!
Thank you so much for check it out my image, Sincerely I didn´t expected for an answer.  Unfortunally, I shot just two photos of that bug, which was been sent to you, here you can find them in more high resolution :  Physonota Alutacea.
Thank you for your quick response.
By
JC

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Subject: School insect collection
Location: UK
June 22, 2015 5:45 am
I’m a biology technician at a 6th form school and have inherited a collection of animals/ plants/ insects that I’m slowly trying to identify. So far I have 1 in the insect section left to identify. Unfortunately I can’t give any details about where it came from or what it’s habits are like as they are all dead! All I know is they are currently in England and I believe are likely to have been caught here. I’m not even 100% certain they’re real, beetles are not my forte
Signature: Hannah

Leaf Beetle:  Desmonota variolosa

Leaf Beetle: Desmonota variolosa

Dear Hannah,
This Leaf Beetle, Desmonota variolosa, is native to Brazil, not England.  We first encountered this Leaf Beetle when we tried to identify the insects used in the making of an antique brooch, a common practice in Victorian times.  New jewelry is also available using these real beetles.   There are plenty of links on that posting to follow our original research.  You can also find a mounted specimen pictured on the Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery Collections site.

Leaf Beetle:  Desmonota variolosa

Leaf Beetle: Desmonota variolosa

Thank you so much, the girls will be so happy to finally know what it is and that it’s used in jewellery!
Hannah

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