Metallic Green Beetle with a really cool plastic coat
July 31, 2009
I found these beetles congregated in a wooden window frame in an abandoned building on the shoreline of the Pacific in Nicaragua. I was attracted by the bright green metallic color but then noticed the really cool “plastic coat” each was wearing. Looks like they’ve been recylcling the many discarded water bottles littering the shoreline. Any idea what this guy is?
Las Salinas Nicaragua
This is some species of Tortoise Beetle in the Leaf Beetle subfamily Cassidinae, but we haven’t the time to research the exact species just now. Perhaps one of our readers can provide the answer.
Identification from Karl
August 4, 2009
I am fairly certain that Dean’s tortoise beetles belong in the genus Physonota. Of the several species occurring in Nicaragua, Physonota attenuate appears to be the closest match. Unfortunately, all of the reference photos I could find of this species are of preserved museum specimens, and tortoise beetles don’t preserve their color or clarity when they are dried. A live specimen would look much like the related North American species, P. helianthi, which can be viewed at the Bugguide site. Regards.