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Rusty Tortoise Beetle

Stolas coalita


I was surprised to find not much information on Tortoise beetles online. They are typically small (1-2 cm), round, somewhat flat and often quite colorful. They all typically have a wide pronotum that extends forward and to the sides and completely covers the head and antenna. The trailing edge meets the elytra which comes forward covering the legs completely. This gives it the distinct impression of a tortoise, hence the name. This species is dark, almost black with a touch of red on the sides of they elytra which are pitted all over.


This tortoise beetle was found on the broad leaf of a nettles plant in a jungle garden in the Amazon jungle of SE Ecuador right on the border with Peru (300 masl).


The common name is my own invention. Tortoise beetles are very unique and interesting and one of my favorite. They come in all different patterns and colors but all look like little shells scurrying along. Cute.

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Tukup 5 months ago

That is an incredible list. The problem for me is you need to know what name to look for. It would be good to check an ID once it is made. Thanks Sergio.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 5 months ago

This is the best collection of TBs: You may find it useful.

Tukup 5 months ago

Thanks Sergio. Turns out when I looked in the file for "helmet beetles" I found long ago I had put in everything that was "round." I now know that included fungus beetles, some leaf beetles and lady beetles. So I don't have as many as I thought, but will share what I have. Andreas Kay'scollection of Tortoise Beetles is impressive to say the least. Thanks again for commenting.

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 5 months ago

Yep. They are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Spotted by

Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

Spotted on Mar 24, 2019
Submitted on Feb 3, 2021

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