Brazilian Bug ID
October 1, 2009
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.
Ilha Grande, Brazil
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
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