The Tortoise Beetle: 15 Ridiculous Facts (Part 2)

We amazed you with the first set of seven ridiculous facts about the tortoise beetle in our part one article, and now we have returned with part two! This majestic creature has a myriad of wondrous and mysterious ways about it, and we are here to give you the scoop. To discover the top eight most ridiculous facts about the tortoise beetle, all you have to do is read along!

Number Eight: The Variation

The tortoise beetle can be observed in almost all parts of the world, and usually vary by color in correlation to their location. In Java, they can be seen in earthy colors, like red, orange, and deep gold. The green and black variety is often seen in Indonesia, and the golden version keeps to the United States and Canada.

Number Seven: The Diet

When it comes to dining, these beetles have a taste for many of the plants that we humans like to feed on. They are most often found investing crops of sweet potatoes or morning glory, but have also been observed in cabbage, corn, raspberry bushes, strawberry vines, eggplant, milkweed, and plantain trees.

Number Six: Life of a Tortoise Beetle

The life of a tortoise beetle is a rather simple one. During winter months, they hide away from the cold under bark or leaves. They emerge in the springtime, and feed until mating season. During this time, the female will lay eggs of anywhere from 15-30 baby bugs underneath leaves. Roughly a week later, the larvae will hatch, feed, and pupate to go on creating babies of their own. They repopulate at intense rates, and can produce four generations in a good year.

Number Five: The Damage

The infestation of these insects is rarely a problem, because they don’t do much damage on their own. The real issue of defoliation comes when the species overproduces, which can cause leaves to become holey or skeletonized from being consumed by mass numbers. However, the feeding groups are most often unnoticeably small.

Number Four: Enemies in the Animal Kingdom

Like every other species, this beetle has its fair share of rivals. The most common attackers of the species are wasps and a certain type of fly parasitoid.

Number Three: The Tribes

Tortoise beetles come in a variety of types, shapes, colors, and sizes. They all belong to the main family Cassidini, which is composed of five main tribes with various characteristics. These tribes are the Agroiconota (mottled), Cassida (“crucified”), Charidotella (golden), Coptocycla (green), and Deloyala (green and black).

Number Two: They Can Fly

Like most beetles, this species has hidden flying capabilities that aid in its protection. The flexible shell that encompasses the bug is able to be spread out sideways, revealing the hind and forewings of the majestic creature.

Number One: Lending a Hand

Believe it or not, these special bugs have done more than their part in aiding humans. Because of their leaf-based diet, they are often released to contain the spread of invasive plant species. They have helped us cut down on potentially hindering plants, such a thistle and field bindweed. We hope you enjoyed learning the 15 ridiculous facts about the tortoise beetle.