Home / Leaf Beetles (Chrysomelidae) / Golden Tortoise Beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata)

Golden Tortoise Beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata)

The golden tortoise beetle is a member of the family of leaf beetles. It has two known sub species – Charidotella sexpunctata bicolor and Charidotella sexpunctata sexpunctata.

Golden Tortoise Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Chrysomelidae
  • Genus: Charidotella
  • Scientific name: Charidotella sexpunctata

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 5–7 mm

Color: Specimens can vary in color, ranging from reddish-brown with black spots , often changing to shiny, mirror-like gold. They can change color during mating, or even when disturbed by humans.

Other Characteristic Features: The elytra are nearly transparent.

Charidotella sexpunctata

Larva

Their color range from yellowish to reddish-brown. They go through three instars, with a flat, broad body covered with spines. The larvae often hide from predators with the help of a “shield” constructed out of frass and shed skins that it collects on a protrusion on its posterior end, referred to as an “anal fork”.

Larvae complete maturing after 2-3 weeks, after which pupation begins.

Golden Tortoise Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The pupa is brown and similar to the larva in appearance, also having spikes all over them. The material collected by the larva as part of its fecal shield still covers it during this stage. This period lasts for 1-2 weeks and measures 5-8 mm in length.  

Golden Tortoise Beetle Pupa

Egg

They are white, oval, flat, and about 1 mm in length. Eggs are generally attached singly to the underside of the leaves of the host plant. Around 20 of them are laid at a time, taking 5-10 days to hatch.

Golden Tortoise Beetle Eggs

Quick Facts

Other namesGolden beetle, “Goldbug”
Lifespan10-20 days
DistributionEastern North America, and west to Iowa and Texas
HabitatBushes, forests, or gardens
Seasons activeMay-July
PredatorsAnts, assassin bugs, damsel bugs, eulophid wasps, ladybird beetles, shield bugs, and tachinid flies.
Host plantsBindweeds, morning glory, and sweet potato
Diet of adultsSame as larvae
Golden Tortoise Beetle Damage

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

They leave behind small to medium-sized irregular holes in the leaves. However, the damage caused by these beetles is seldom threatening.

Golden Beetle

Did You Know

  • If disturbed by external factors, the golden tortoise beetle plays dead.
  • Its nickname ‘goldbug’, is a result of the golden color it transforms to if provoked or disturbed.
Golden Tortoise Beetle Picture

Image Source: images.saymedia-content.com, bugguide.net, live.staticflickr.com, artscienceinsects.files.wordpress.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com, plantanswers.com, wpengine.netdna-ssl.com

The golden tortoise beetle is a member of the family of leaf beetles. It has two known sub species – Charidotella sexpunctata bicolor and Charidotella sexpunctata sexpunctata.

Golden Tortoise Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size: 5–7 mm

Color: Specimens can vary in color, ranging from reddish-brown with black spots , often changing to shiny, mirror-like gold. They can change color during mating, or even when disturbed by humans.

Other Characteristic Features: The elytra are nearly transparent.

Charidotella sexpunctata

Larva

Their color range from yellowish to reddish-brown. They go through three instars, with a flat, broad body covered with spines. The larvae often hide from predators with the help of a “shield” constructed out of frass and shed skins that it collects on a protrusion on its posterior end, referred to as an “anal fork”.

Larvae complete maturing after 2-3 weeks, after which pupation begins.

Golden Tortoise Beetle Larvae

Pupa

The pupa is brown and similar to the larva in appearance, also having spikes all over them. The material collected by the larva as part of its fecal shield still covers it during this stage. This period lasts for 1-2 weeks and measures 5-8 mm in length.  

Golden Tortoise Beetle Pupa

Egg

They are white, oval, flat, and about 1 mm in length. Eggs are generally attached singly to the underside of the leaves of the host plant. Around 20 of them are laid at a time, taking 5-10 days to hatch.

Golden Tortoise Beetle Eggs

Quick Facts

Other namesGolden beetle, “Goldbug”
Lifespan10-20 days
DistributionEastern North America, and west to Iowa and Texas
HabitatBushes, forests, or gardens
Seasons activeMay-July
PredatorsAnts, assassin bugs, damsel bugs, eulophid wasps, ladybird beetles, shield bugs, and tachinid flies.
Host plantsBindweeds, morning glory, and sweet potato
Diet of adultsSame as larvae
Golden Tortoise Beetle Damage

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

They leave behind small to medium-sized irregular holes in the leaves. However, the damage caused by these beetles is seldom threatening.

Golden Beetle

Did You Know

  • If disturbed by external factors, the golden tortoise beetle plays dead.
  • Its nickname ‘goldbug’, is a result of the golden color it transforms to if provoked or disturbed.
Golden Tortoise Beetle Picture

Image Source: images.saymedia-content.com, bugguide.net, live.staticflickr.com, artscienceinsects.files.wordpress.com, 1.bp.blogspot.com, plantanswers.com, wpengine.netdna-ssl.com

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