Eggplant tortoise beetles?!
January 25, 2010
Last summer I started finding these tortoise beetles in central Oklahoma. They are translucent green, about the size of a pea, and have a smooth “shell”. I think that they might be eggplant tortoise beetles, but I’m not sure. Thanks for the help.
We believe you have correctly identified the Eggplant Tortoise Beetle, Gratiana pallidula, though your letter did not indicate the plant that the specimens were feeding upon. Often a food plant is a critical factor in the correct identification of an insect. According to BugGuide, the Eggplant Tortoise Beetle feeds upon “several species of Solanum (tomato family: Solanaceae).“
Sorry, I wasn’t sure what species of plant they were found on. I did some research on the Solanum family and was able to identify the plant the beetles were feeding on as /Solanum elaeagnifolium, /the Silverleaf Nightshade. Hope that helps,
That is consistent with the preferred host plants for the Eggplant Tortoise Beetle and tends to confirm the identification.