Drawing of a ladybugQuick Links


 

Drawing of a ladybugItems for Sale:

Live Ladybug Growing Kit - Watch Ladybug Larvae Turn into Ladybugs!
Live Ladybug Growing Kit - Watch Ladybug Larvae Turn into Ladybugs!

Ladybug LARVAE Refill
Ladybug LARVAE Refill

Ladybug Life Cycle Figurines
Ladybug Life Cycle Figurines

Huge Ladybug Life Cycle Puzzle
Huge Ladybug Life Cycle Puzzle

Ladybug Playground
Ladybug Playground

Red Roof Ladybug House
Red Roof Ladybug House

Natural Wood Ladybug House
Natural Wood Ladybug House

Round Ladybug House
Round Ladybug House

Wood Window Thermometer: Ladybug
Wood Window Thermometer: Ladybug

Ladybug Lure
Ladybug Lure

Ceramic Ladybug Coasters with Stand
Ceramic Ladybug
Coasters with Stand


The Mystery is Revealed!

Seemingly disguised as a ladybug, amongst the morning glories, it was a... MILKWEED TORTOISE BEETLE!

 


Photo by Suzanne Downing

In early July, Suzanne emailed us to inquire about a golden insect in her garden. She asked if this was a ladybug and sent this photo.
Thanks, Suzanne!


Food:
Beetles feed on the foliage of morning glories and related plants. Enjoy milkweed, raspberry, maize and sweet potato. Also known to feed on the bindweed- a lawn weed.

Larva feed on foliage, as well. When full grown, they drop to the ground, burrow in, pupate and over winter. They emerge as the adult beetle in midsummer.

Damage:
Beetles eat holes in the foliage. Considered a garden pest.
 

 

The Milkweed Tortoise Beetle
Metriona bicolor

Identify:
Oval, convex. Yellow or golden color with transparent edges. Elytra have 12 black spot or no spots. Capturing the Tortoise beetle causing it to change colors. The color is produced by an optical illusion; the outer cuticle is transparent and reflects light through a layer of liquid over the next layer of cuticle. The beetles change color depending on the availability of the liquid layer. In the fall and winter, the beetles become less lustrous and are more orange and bronze with flashes of iridescent color. If you try and collect the beetle for an insect collection, the beetle soon turns dark brown as is dries, loosing the golden color. Stress is also factor. As a defense mechanism the beetles may change color. The larva are yellow to orange in color.

Location:
Found throughout North America usually in meadows, grassy areas and gardens.
 

More information can be found at: Garden Friends and FoesAn article by Tom Murray. Thanks Tom!


Photo by Ian R. Whiting

In March of 2003, Ian sent this photo with a request for help in identifying them. These beetles were found INSIDE his house. We accepted the assignment and solved the mystery.
Thanks, Ian!

 


Damage:
Beetles eat the foliage. Considered a garden pest.

Interesting Characteristic:
The beetle pulls in its antennae when threatened, just like a turtle pulls in its head.

  The Clavate Tortoise Beetle
Deloyala clavata

Identify:
Almost circular, nearly convex resembling a flat turtle-like shell. Brownish yellow or golden color with transparent edges. Elytra have brown patches.

Location:
Found throughout North America, the UK and Eastern Africa usually in meadows, grassy areas and gardens.

Food:
Beetles feed on the foliage of morning glories and related plants. Enjoy milkweed, raspberry, maize and sweet potato.

The eggs are deposited on the leaves which the larva eat except for the veins. When full grown, they drop to the ground, burrow in, pupate and over winter. They emerge as the adult beetle in midsummer.

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