Palmetto Tortoise Beetle Larva from Dominican Republic

Subject:  Weird camo worm
Geographic location of the bug:  La Romana, Dominican Republic
Date: 03/05/2019
Time: 08:14 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I found this weird worm on several palm trees at a friends home. It seems to build a cocoon of dry fibers and then starts to eat the clorofila of the palm tree leaves. Several on each branch. Never seen it before and several landscaper friends either.
How you want your letter signed:  Ariel

Palmetto Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Ariel,
Thanks for presenting us with this challenging identification.  Our initial search did not provide us with any conclusive identification, but we strongly suspect this is a larval form and that it will mature into some species of Beetle.  Many Leaf Beetles in the family Chrysomelidae construct structures made of fecal matter to camouflage them while they are feeding.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide an identification. 

Palmetto Tortoise Beetle Larva

Thank you for your help Daniel! I look forward to more info from your readers.

Update:  Palmetto Tortoise Beetle Larva
A special thanks to Cesar Crash who identified the Palmetto Tortoise Beetle larva, Hemisphaerota cyanea, on BugGuide where it states:  “This is the underside of the Tortoise beetle fecal nest, showing the larva protected by it’s fecal strands.”

You have been amazing!!! Thanks for the help!!!


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