What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Indentify bug
Location: Cartago, Costa Rica
July 17, 2015 9:59 am
Hi Mr. Bugman, I found a weird bug, but nobody can tell me what kind of bug is, maybe you can help me to to identify it. Thank you so much
Signature: Jc Nuñez

Unknown Horned Larva

Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle Pupa

Dear Jc Nuñez,
Wow, you nearly had us stumped.  This is such a unique looking creature that we thought it would be easier to identify.  We believe it is some larval or pupal stage of an insect.  We wish your image had better details as we cannot even begin to try to classify this creature.  Our best guess at this time is that this is the Pupa of a Tortoise Beetle from the subfamily Cassidinae based on its resemblance to this image, also from Costa Rica, posted on FlickR.  It is obvious that they are not the same species, but there are similarities.  Not wanting to give up, we continued to search and we found an image on FlickR from Mexico that is identified as the larva and adult Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle, but alas, there is no scientific name.  The poster, Seth Patterson, writes:  “one of most common here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is a larger species that feeds on our Mexican Wild Olive trees. They are called the Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle. My first encounter with this species left me truly smitten. I actually didn’t first encounter the ‘beetle’ (adult stage) but rather the larval stage. Their spiny, robust bodies are incredibly similar in appearance to the prehistoric trilobites. When threatened, the larvae raise their forked tails in an imposing display. Of course, they are all show and completely harmless to humans.”  The leaves in your image do resemble the leaves of an olive, so we continued to search.  The Texas Entomology page identifies the Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle as
Physonota alutacea, but there is no image of the pupa.  This image of a pupa of the Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle on BugGuide looks like an exact match to your critter.

Unknown Horned Larva

Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle Pupa

Hi, you are really, really great !!!
Thank you so much for check it out my image, Sincerely I didn´t expected for an answer.  Unfortunally, I shot just two photos of that bug, which was been sent to you, here you can find them in more high resolution :  Physonota Alutacea.
Thank you for your quick response.
By
JC

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Cartago, Costa Rica

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