Dogwood Leaf Beetle, we believe

Beautiful Golden Beetle
Location: Columbia, Maryland
May 13, 2011 9:48 am
Dear ”Bugman”,
Today my son found a beautiful bright metallic gold beetle with the most intricate design on it’s wings in our house. I HATE bugs but this one was quite pretty. It was the size of a ladybug. The design almost looked like a lace design. It had a black head and it had red wings. I looked up other pictures on the internet of tortoise beetles and they didn’t quite look like what we saw. Maybe you can help? I have never seen anything like it before.
Signature: Jennifer

possibly Dogwood Leaf Beetle

Dear Jennifer,
This is one of the Leaf Beetles in the genus Calligrapha.  It most closely resembles the Dogwood Leaf Beetle,
Calligrapha philadelphica, which is pictured on BugGuide, or the Common Leaf Calligrapha, Calligrapha multipunctata, which is also pictured on BugGuide.  Our money is on the Dogwood Leaf Beetle because the markings on the individual in this photo on BugGuide most closely resemble the markings on your individual.

Thank you!  I did figure it out later in the day yesterday.  I figured it was a Calligrapha multipunctata which eats willow trees I guess?  But the one you stated Calligrapha philadelphica definitely makes sense.  The picture I took did not do the beetle any justice.  It looked like it had been spray painted a beautiful metallic gold.  And it had maroon colored wings under it’s gold wings.  I have never seen one before.  Very pretty!
-Jennie

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