I've blogged about these critters before, but they are well worth another look!
|All Photos by Ned Harris 9/14/2016|
Tortoise Beetles undergo complete metamorphosis (egg > larva > pupa > adult). In other words, the larval stage looks completely different from the adult stage. Click on the photo above for a closer look at these larvae. (And be grateful that the photo isn't scratch and sniff.) The larvae look like 6-legged worms with their tails in the air. Those black things on their ends are their feces in a sac. (I'm not making this up!) They wave their poop sacs around (presumably) to deter predators.
Canyon Ragweed (Ambrosia ambrosioides) is their host plant.
And the above is an example of a mature adult. Click on the photo for a better view of the iridescent colors.