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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.
Spotted on Mar 24, 2019
Submitted on Feb 3, 2021
and 3 other people favorited this spotting