Odd squarish dark mottled beetle – possibly australian tortoise beetle?
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
October 17, 2011 12:16 am
A friend sent me this photo of small (slightly bigger than ladybug-size) beetles he spotted sunning themselves on the balcony of his apartment in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve never seen beetles like this. I have done some searches and suspect they could possibly be an import, the Australian Tortoise Beetle, although their shape and colouration seems a bit odd. They do appear to have the hair tuft on the end of their legs though. What do you think? Is it something else entirely? I asked him to contact his local officials in case this was indeed an invasive species but if it’s something else more obvious I’d love to hear it.
You have cause for concern. These are Lablab Bugs or Globular Stink Bugs, Megacopta cirbraria, and they are also called Bean Plataspids. According to BugGuide: “Recently found in ne. GA; native to India and China, known also from many parts of e. & se. Asia to Australia and New Caledonia(1) According to USA Today [Sept 26, 2011] – now NC, SC, AL.” There is a mixed blessing with this information from BugGuide: “Found in the US on kudzu; known hosts include legume crops, especially soybean.” Any insect that feeds on the invasive Kudzu would be welcomed, provided they did not also feed on an important crop plant.
Thank you so much for the reply! I will forward this to my friend! Many thanks on your wonderful website. It is very well-loved!