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Geiger Tree Tortoise Beetle

Physonota calochroma


My husband also had an encounter with this iridescent turtle beetle. And finally I have found its ID. It is the Geiger Tree tortoise beetle! As described in the reference, formerly Physonota calochroma floridensis. Size: 8-11 mm. Live adults are brilliant lime green with a black spot in the middle of the pronotum. In this book is mentioned that adults change colors, from wine-purple, green, to red-bronze or gold. In fact, these colours are constantly changing in the same specimen but when mating the colour remains light green.


Seen in Bonaire. The species range is described as in Florida: from Palm Beach to Key West. However is widespread to the Caribbean, as long as they find their food source, the Geiger Tree (Cordia sebestena)


First placed in the genus Eurypepla by Blake in 1966; listed under that genus by Borowiec in his World Catalog of Cassidinae in 1999.

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The MnMs
The MnMs 2 years ago

Thanks triggsturner :-)

triggsturner 2 years ago

Oh wow! I missed this guy before. Belated congrats. Great spotting.

The MnMs
The MnMs 2 years ago

Thank you Dr!

DrNamgyalT.Sherpa 2 years ago

Congrats MnMs for the SOTD! Beautiful spotting!

The MnMs
The MnMs 2 years ago

No but the trees are also in the Caribbean. They are planted as ornamental in gardens. And I think I read these trees are not endemic to Florida but also Caribbean widespread so is the accompanying beetle 馃檪

Hema 2 years ago

Did you see this in Florida?

The MnMs
The MnMs 2 years ago

Thank you! :-)

Just beautiful MnMs,congrats on the well deserved SOTD and thanks for sharing

DanielePralong 2 years ago

Congratulations the MnMs, your iridescent tortoise beetle is our Spotting of the Day! It is also the first occurrence for this species on Project Noah.

"This gorgeous iridescent Tortoise Beetle (Physonota calochroma) is our Spotting of the Day! Known as Geiger Tree Tortoise Beetle because of its association with the Geiger tree (Cordia sebestena, family Boraginaceae), Physonota calochroma is found in the Florida Keys, the West Indies, and Yuacatan. Tortoise beetles (family Chrysomelidae , subfamily Cassidinae) often have splendid metallic or iridescent hues, and are known for their ability to change color. Physonota may achieve this by modifying the thin film of water in their elytra responsible for producing interference colors and iridescence. These changes are active and reversible, and are likely to have an hormonal origin.
Source: Novel aspects of the biology of Chrysomelidae, edited by Pierre H. Jolivet, M.L. Cox, E. Petitpierre, Springer Science 1994".



Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 2 years ago

Woooooow!!!!!!!!!! What a beauty!!!

The MnMs
The MnMs 2 years ago

Thank you for the nice comments! Yes, and luckily my husband also had pics of this gorgeous beetle that are better looking than mine :-D
... I would have never imagined that they were associated to the Geiger tree and that they can actively change colors! :-)

This is a pretty find!

DanielePralong 2 years ago

Nice find The MnMs!

bayucca 2 years ago

Nice one!

maplemoth662 2 years ago

Your welcome, The MnMs....

The MnMs
The MnMs 2 years ago

Thanks maplemoth :-)

maplemoth662 2 years ago

Beautiful photos....a beautiful Beetle....beautiful colors....

The MnMs
Spotted by
The MnMs

Bonaire, Caribisch Nederland, Netherlands

Spotted on Sep 13, 2017
Submitted on Mar 4, 2018

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