Mottled Tortoise Beetle (Deloyala guttata)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Mottled Tortoise Beetle.
Updated: 6/19/2015; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Mottled Tortoise Beetle looks like a smaller, metallic version of its namesake though the edges of their 'shells' are clear.
The Mottled Tortoise Beetle is a member of the Leaf Beetle family. It is found on morning glory flowers, leaves and vines as well as milkweed plants. Their spiny, flat larvae look more like little dark centipedes and they eat these plants as they grow and develop into rounder, shiny adults. Though they may punch holes into the leaves of the plants, they rarely cause enough harm to damage or kill the plant unless it is young or a seedling. They are not considered an agricultural pest or threat.
Females lay clusters of fertilized eggs (about 15 at a time) on the bottoms of leaves and newly hatched larvae hide under piles of beetle feces mixed with old, molted exoskeletons. Larvae will pupate under this cover and emerge adults.
They can be found in garden, meadows, fields, parks and on the sides of roads and highways. They are most active in the spring and summer months. Adults will overwinter. Though quite small, they are prolific and found in almost every part of North America. Several generations every year are possible in the warmer, southern states.