Currently viewing the category: "Tortoise Beetles"

Subject:  Can you ID this beetle?
Geographic location of the bug:  Merritt Island, Brevard County, FL
Date: 08/12/2021
Time: 02:52 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,
Hoping you can ID these beetles, which are located on (and apparently snacking on) railroad vine (Ipomoea pes-caprae) in a residential landscape. These are about twice the size of your standard issue ladybug beetle. Photo taken Aug. 12, 2021, mid-afternoon, south facing planting bed.
How you want your letter signed:  LG

Tortoise Beetle

Dear LG,
We quickly found your Tortoise Beetle,
Chelymorpha cribraria, on Featured Creatures where it states:  “The genus Chelymorpha Boheman contains more than 100 species, which are mostly Neotropical in distribution. Two species have been recorded (Blatchley 1924) previously from Florida: Chelymorpha cassidea (Fabricius) and Chelymorpha geniculata Boheman. The endemic Florida Chelymorpha geniculata has had a checkered taxonomic history. It is often considered either a synonym or subspecies of Chelymorpha cassidea (Balbaugh and Hays 1972). Both are uniformly tan to red-brown in color with 12 to 14 black spots on the elytra and four to six on the pronotum. Chelymorpha cribraria is extremely polymorphic in color (Vasconcellos-Neto 1988), and most of the color forms have been described as separate species. Only two color forms have been found in Florida so far. The most common color form in Florida is bicolored, with pronotum black and elytra brick-red or tan. Much less common is the color form having a tan ground color with metallic reflections, numerous black speckles, and longitudinal red stripes on the elytra.”  According to BugGuide:  “adventive in FL (established), native to S. America & West Indies” and “showed up in so. FL following hurricane Andrew (Sep. 1993). ”  The species has no common name.

Tortoise Beetles

Thank you very much! I was sorta on the right track: was thinking leaf beetles but just didn’t find the magic word combo to get me to the Featured Creatures entry or anywhere else that made me think I was on the right track for sure. Had I used “tortoise beetle,” I probably would’ve found it. Anyway, again, thanks!

Subject:  bug with debris on top
Geographic location of the bug:  southeast Louisiana
Date: 06/03/2020
Time: 08:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  There were three of these critters on a tomato plant this May.  At first I just though they were large frass or small bird dropings.  On a closer look, I saw there were leg-like projections. I gently teased the debris off of one and discovered a beautiful, delicite being with what looked like a smiling frog face staring up at me.
How you want your letter signed:  Art

Clavate Tortoise Beetle Larva

Dear Art,
This is the larva of a Clavate Tortoise Beetle, Plagiometriona clavata, and the debris on its back is fecal matter and it thought to act as camouflage or protection for the larva.  Here is a BugGuide image.  According to BugGuide food plants include:  “ground-cherries (Physalis), Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), and Solanum spp. (Solanaceae)” and tomatoes are in the family Solanaceae.

Subject:  Identify a bug
Geographic location of the bug:  Eastern Wi.
Date: 06/12/2019
Time: 11:02 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  We found this bug in our house. Never seen one like it. Hard like she’ll, but it flies.
How you want your letter signed:  Motz

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Dear Motz,
This is a Clavate Tortoise Beetle.  According to BugGuide they feed on:  “ground-cherries (
Physalis), Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium), and Solanum spp. (Solanaceae).”

Subject:  Glitter Green Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Miami Florida
Date: 01/23/2019
Time: 10:54 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello,  I found this beetle on a carambola(Star fruit) in my back lawn. It was almost transparent with glitters of green.
How you want your letter signed:  Tammy F

Geiger Tortoise Beetle

Dear Tammy,
This is a Tortoise Beetle, a member of the tribe Cassidini of the Leaf Beetle family.  We are confident it is the Geiger Tortoise Beetle,
Physonota calochroma floridensis, which is pictured on BugGuide, and is a subspecies confined to “Florida: from Palm Beach to Key West”.  According to BugGuide:  “live adults are brilliant lime green with a black spot in the middle of the pronotum; dead museum specimens are dull yellow to cream-colored – very different from live animals” and “feeds on the Geiger Tree (Cordia sebestena).”

Subject:  A Golden Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Nashik, Maharashtra, Indian.
Date: 10/30/2018
Time: 11:23 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I find a Golden Beetle having a plastic thin coating around  itself  please tell me about this bug……
How you want your letter signed:  Bug finder

Tortoise Beetle

Dear Bug finder,
This is a Tortoise Beetle in the tribe Cassidini, but we are not certain of the species.  Here is a similar looking Tortoise Beetle, but a different species from India that is pictured on FlickR.

Subject:  Clavate Tortoise Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Andover, NJ
Date: 09/26/2018
Time: 06:40 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi Daniel,
Just wanted to share a photo from today of a beetle I almost never see – a Clavate Tortoise Beetle.  I found this one trapped in the web of a cross orb-weaver, so quickly extricated it and pulled off the web strands.  (Usually, I don’t interfere, but I couldn’t bear to let this one become dinner).  This is only the third time I’ve seen one of these elusive little beetles.  A short while later, he took off.
How you want your letter signed :  Deborah Bifulco

Clavate Tortoise Beetle

Dear Deborah,
Thanks so much for sending in your image of a Clavate Tortoise Beetle.  As always, your detailed images are a wonderful resource for our readers who are trying to identify insects they find.