Subject: What is this bug?
Location: Clayton, NM, USA
July 21, 2017 5:42 pm
I found this bug on our property in town but in an area that just grows what ever but it is mowed.
it was found on the plant in pictures, in Clayton, New Mexico, USA I was just curious what it is as I have never seen one like it.
Signature: Ayla S.

Feces Carrying Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Ayla,
This appears to be a Tortoise Beetle Larva in the tribe Cassidini, similar to this Thistle Tortoise Beetle larva pictured on BugGuide, however we are not convinced that is your species because BugGuide data does not include any New Mexico sightings, though there are Colorado sightings.  The description of where they were found is consistent with the BugGuide habitat:  “weedy fields and waste places where food plants grow.”  BugGuide lists the food as “various Asteraceae, incl. thistle (
Carduus, Cirsium, Onopordum) and knapweed (Centaurea) spp.” and the leaves pictured in your image look to us like they belong to the aster family.  There are other members of the genus and we suspect their larvae look similar, but the most specific we are comfortable responding is that this is a Tortoise Beetle larva from the tribe Cassidini.

Location: Clayton, New Mexico

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