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Golden Tortoise Beetle

Charidotella sexpuncta

Description:

The Golden Tortoise Beetle is the ultimate flying beetle of disguise and science. When disturbed, the beetle changes from a golden jewel to a much duller red, spotted with black dots, mimicking a ladybug. The Golden Tortoise Beetle, or Charidotella sexpuncta, does this by gauging the moisture levels of liquid in the cuticle. The second photo shows part of the transition between gold and red.

Habitat:

Unfortunately, the beetle is considered a pest and the larvae tend to feed on Morning Glories, (plants in the family Convolvulaceae). I did not find these specific individuals on Morning Glories.

Notes:

A wonderful spotting to kick off June with! :D Sorry for the bad third photo, just found it interesting to find a trio of these jewels!

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2 Comments

Jacob Gorneau
Jacob Gorneau 9 years ago

When I first saw it, I thought is was a piece of litter or something, like a candy wrapper. It was much more than that, though! Their methods of defense are quite amazing! Thanks Christine!

catgrin
catgrin 9 years ago

I have a terrific photo of a tortoiseshell - they're hard to see at first, often mimicking water drops or hiding under leaves! I really love their ability to create protective coloration on such a tiny scale! Great job spotting several!

Jacob Gorneau
Spotted by
Jacob Gorneau

New York, USA

Spotted on Jun 1, 2012
Submitted on Jun 2, 2012

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