Brazilian Bug ID
October 1, 2009
Greetings Bugman,
Can you help me with the identification of this bug please. Found it on a leaf on the Island of Ilha Grande, south west of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The picture was taken at the end of August 2007.
Thanks, Steve
Ilha Grande, Brazil

Tortoise Beetle

Tortoise Beetle

Hi Steve,
This beauty is a Tortoise Beetle in the tribe Cassidini.  We spent the day getting knee surgery and this is our first posting today.  We don’t want to take the time right now for a species identification before trying to post a few additional letters.  Perhaps our invaluable contributor Karl will be able to take a stab at this one.  We just realized that it is the first of the month, and we have problems with new images posting live at the beginning of each month.

Update from Karl
Hi Daniel:
I believe this Tortoise Beetle is in the genus Stolas (Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae). The tribe is Stolaini, although in some references the tribe is given as Cassidini. Stolas is a rather large genus (170+ species) with considerable variety in size, shape and color, and a half a dozen or so species look similar to the one in Steve’s photo. The closest I could find was S. stevensi (how is that for coincidence?!). It’s not a perfect match but it is the only one I could find that has the yellow/gold markings on the pronotum. There is probably some variability within the species and that may account for the small differences; or it could be a case of sexual dimorphism. I could find little information about the species, but the southeast coast of Brazil is within its range. Regards.

Update:  June 28, 2014
Thanks to a comment from a Park Ranger in Ilha Grande, we now know that this is
Stolas stevensi or a closely related species in the same genus.  The Cassidinae of the World website has corroborating images.

Update:  Comment December 18, 2014
In the meanwhile I am pretty sure (as sure as one can be ;-)…!) that this one is Mesomphalia turrita.
Note, that M. sexmaculata is a synonym of M. turrita

Location: Ilha Grande, Brazil

7 Responses to Brazilian Tortoise Beetle

  1. lttlechkn says:

    Could it possibly be Stolas areolata? A reference picture… and Also a link to a wonderful site with hundreds of pictures of tortoise beetles…
    It takes quite a bit of time to go through the photos due to having to click a separate link for every photo; but they have an amazing archive in my opinion.

    • bugman says:

      The exact species ID might not be possible without examination of the specimen, but Stolas areolata looks very close and Stolas is most surely the correct genus.

  2. It is Stolas stevensi. I´m a park ranger in Ilha Grande, Brazil and I saw it more than once. I have pictures of it too.

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