Bicolor Tortoise Beetle (caught in the act!)
I really enjoy your web site and thought I’d share my latest bug experience with you! I found this goldbug crawling on my screen door in SW Ohio the other day. I had heard that some tortoise beetles can change colors, so I was excited to determine weather or not this one could change his color too. At the time, he didn’t seem very colorful at all but I decided to pop him in a jar with a morning glory leaf anyway and see if his color changed at all. Well I must say, the color change was quite dramatic to say the least! This little bug can change from a brilliant gold color (while happily munching on his favorite food) to a ladybug color (when annoyed) in an instant! You’ll be happy to know that after his "photo shoot", Mr. Goldbug was allowed to return to his real home out in the yard. Enjoy the attached photos!
Thank you so much for sending in this dramatic documentation of a Golden Tortoise Beetle, Charidotella sexpunctata according to BugGuide, changing colors. This is the widely spread subspecies Charidotella sexpunctata bicolor and it does feed on morning glories. It is also commonly called the Goldbug.