Friday, September 23, 2016


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.

These are rather fresh adults (recently emerged from pupal stage). See this great post from Margarathe Brummermann about the color changes the adults undergo.

And the above is an example of a mature adult. Click on the photo for a better view of the iridescent colors.

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