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Larva of Tortoise Beetle with fecal shield

Family Chrysomelidae

Description:

The larvae hold up a bit of poop (frass) and exuviae to deter predators.

Habitat:

Urban residential. I pass this place everyday and yesterday I noticed this shrub;s leaves were full of frass (caterpillar poop) and holes...and I stopped to investigate. It took me a lot of time yesterday pouring over blurry shots to figure out what these were and by that time I was at work and it was dark when I returned...I went there again today and got these shots, The larvae are tiny...I have cropped the shots to an inch of their lives! The last shot shows the Mummy, I think.

Notes:

A survival strategy and a successful one. Not one that stinks figuratively but I suspect it might literally! I was researching a book I am writing and I read about this. Never did I think I would see fecal shield wielding larvae in Kolkata; a metro city! Right next to home at that.

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2 Comments

SukanyaDatta
SukanyaDatta 3 weeks ago

Thanks Tukup...and have you seen my Assassin bug nymph with dead ant back pack? I had a bit of good luck with these two.

Tukup
Tukup 3 weeks ago

"fecal shield wielding larvae." Sounds like an advertisement for a really bad movie 😄 Cool that you read about them first. Great series. Your perseverance paid off.

SukanyaDatta
Spotted by
SukanyaDatta

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Lat: 22.57, Long: 88.36

Spotted on Aug 2, 2019
Submitted on Aug 2, 2019

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