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 ti
me appearing only of a dull yellow color, and at other times shining with the splendor of polished brass or gold, tinged sometmes 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.

9 Responses to gold ladybug?

  1. Christina says:

    Thanks for the question!! Just saw one for the 1st time today! Gorgeous! I live in sub-rural central Oklahoma and my husband walked in from mowing and had this beautiful bug on his shirt! I immediately googled!! Hasn’t changed colors yet..was gonna watch for a little while and let it go..very cool!! thanks again!

  2. Marilyn says:

    Found one of these beautiful bugs just his morning on a leaf in our garden. Never seen before. Wondering where their native habitat is? thanks

  3. Dorothy says:

    We are near the Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana and I had one land on me yesterday! It was beautiful.

  4. Bonnie says:

    I found one today in amongst wild Morning Glory. I live in Gig Harbor, Washington. First time I have ever seen any bug this color.

  5. Bug says:

    Are they good ladybugs or bad ladybugs?

    • bugman says:

      Tortoise Beetles are not related to Lady Beetles. Tortoise Beetles feed on leaves and they might be considered undesirable in some gardens.

  6. Jameson says:

    I live in Nanaimo BC had one in my green house should I be worried don’t want to hurt them they are so beautiful?

  7. Kim says:

    I found some of the gold bugs on my Tricolor Sweet Potato Vine. Is there a spray of vinegar or something I should use to get rid of them?

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