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  • Golden Tortoise Beetle - (Charidotella sexpunctata)

    Golden Tortoise Beetle - (Charidotella sexpunctata)

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

    Picture of Golden Tortoise Beetle
    Staff Writer (8/12/2014): 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.

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    Details of the:
    Golden Tortoise Beetle

    Category: Beetle
    Common name: Golden Tortoise Beetle
    Scientific Name: Charidotella sexpunctata
    Other Names: Goldbug

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Coleoptera
          Family: Chrysomelidae
           Genus: Charidotella
            Species: sexpunctata

    Size (Adult, Length): 5mm to 8mm (0.20in to 0.31in)

    Identifying Colors: gold, green, black, white, brown

    Additional Descriptors: metallic, shiny, turtle, round, flying, gold

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; 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; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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