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Golden Tortoise Beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Golden Tortoise Beetle.

 Updated: 8/12/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The lustrous Golden Tortoise Beetle gnaws on some garden favorites, but its unusual color often affords it a home in the backyard.



Few insects boast a gold body. This is one that can actually change its coloring at will thanks to the microscopic cavities in its cuticle that house pigmentation. The sheen can be dulled; the gold can become brown. Upon death, the metallic glimmer is lost. The edges of the beetle are transparent, like glass.

The shiny, metallic Golden Tortoise Beetle is one of many Tortoise Beetles that feed on popular garden vines. Morning glory, sweet potato vines, bindweed and other plants in the Convulvulaceae family. The adults and larvae chew on leaves and flowers, giving the plants a less-than-perfect appearance. The amount of damage is mild, though, and it rarely causes the plant to die. Many gardeners keep the beetles around just to look at them.

Eggs are laid in the spring. Larvae hatch and immediately begin eating the foliage of the plant they are on. They are round like adults, but are usually a pale greenish color and have a fringe bordering their entire body. They will molt a few times before taking on their adult form. Larvae tend to drag their old 'skins' at their rear until they finally pupate on a leaf. The adults feed in the autumn and overwinter.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Chrysomelidae
          Genus: Charidotella
            Species: sexpunctata
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Charidotella sexpunctata
Other Name(s): Goldbug
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.20in to 0.31in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: gold, green, black, white, brown
Descriptors: metallic, shiny, turtle, round, flying, gold
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Beetle Anatomy
Graphic showing basic anatomy of a common North American Beetle insect
1
Antennae: Beetles have a pair of antennae on the head used as sensors.
2
Head: The head is home to the insect's eyes, antennae, and mandibles (jaws).
3
Thorax: Holds the three pairs of legs as well as vital internal organs.
4
Elytron: One of two wing cases on a Beetle that protects its wings (plural: elytra).
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Wings: Appendages used for flying and kept under the elytra until needed.
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Abdomen: Houses organs related to circulation, reproduction, and excretion.
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Legs: Beetles have three pairs of legs located at the thorax, numbering six legs in all.