Currently viewing the category: "Leaf Beetles"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I found a very interesting bug on my sunflowers, it resembles a lady bug in size and shape, but the body, when I found it, was a bright gold, but the wings are a translucent opalescent color. It caught my eye because I thought it was a shiny gold bead stuck to the leaf. When I put the bug in a jar, its color changed to a ladybug red, but without the black dots. I would send a picture, but not able to get one scanned. I live in Lincoln, Nebraska, and know a ladybug when I see it, but I have never seen a gold ladybug, or a gold ANY bug.
Thanks
Dear Joanni,
I love when someone writes in about a new insect to add to our list. You have found a Tortoise Beetle, also known as a Gold Bug, probably Coptocycla aurichalcea var. bicolor, also known as Metriona bicolor. Lutz quotes Harris as saying “When living it has the power of changing its hues, at one time appearing only of a dull yellow color, and at other times shining with the splendor of polished brass or gold, tinged sometimes also with variable tints of pearl. The wing-covers, the parts wihch exhibit a change of color, are lined beneath with an orange colored paint, which seems to be filled with little vessels; and these are probably the source of the changeable brilliancy of the insect.” Lutz also writes that the “larva are called peddlers” because they carry their cast off skins after molting, appearing like a bit of mud or bird dropping. They eat sweet potato and Convolvulaceae, members of the morning glory family.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear Bugman,
I have been gardening or helping to tend to the garden since I was just a wee fella.Most of my life was spent gardening in Ohio.Shorter growing season,not a whole lot of bugs.Cold winters killed alot of the buggers I guess.
we move to Georgia about four years ago.whole new ballgame you might say.Since moving here I have discovered at least forty new insects I never knew.Some of these things can eat entire plants in a night.Well maybe not that bad but close.
I have searched high and low to figure the latest one out.You may be my last hope.So far they have wiped out my potatoes and have since migrated to the tomatos.They are less than a quarter inch in length, soft fat bodies,red except for the head and underbelly,looks like about six or eight legs,black spots.The head is much smaller than the body.Oh and they’re really juicy when you pick them off.
I wish I knew how to send a picture on this stupid thing but I don’t.Any help or pictures for me to look at would be appreciated.
Thanks Doc.
Frank Kovach

Dear Frank,
You have Colorado Potato Beetles, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. The grubs are as you describe and the adults are striped black and yellow. Both adults and grubs feed on potatoes and related plants including tomatoes. This is an example about how a relatively unimportant insect can change its role as the environment changes. this beetle was once native to the Rockies, living on nightshade and other wild members of the potato family Solanacea. When settlers began togrow potatoes, the new food gave the beetles a fresh start. they prospered and spread, till they now exist in practically all of the 48 continental states. Here are some photos and more information can be found on this site:
http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/veg/leaf/potato_beetles.htm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination