Friday 12 January 2018

Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle

Image: Andreas Kay
Physonota alutacea
I love it when insects go all prehistoric!

Turns out I love it even more when they go all prehistoric, spiky, twin-stinger wasp. Who knew?

Image: Andreas Kay
This is the larva of the Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle. There's very little information available about it but it certainly feeds on the Mexican Olive and is found in Texas through to Colombia.

To be clear, those snazzy tails aren't actually stingers. Many other Tortoise Beetle larvae use tails like that to carry around a little dollop of faeces as protection from predators. Thank goodness this one doesn't do that! They need to enjoy that splendid shade of yellow while they still can...

Image: Liam O'Brien
Adults are much more drab in colour and completly lacking in cool spikes. I guess it suits them just fine since Tortoise Beetles are rather shy and like to hide under their shells. That armour is spacious enough to completely cover their head and legs, leaving nothing for a gang of hungry ants to grab onto.

The larvae, on the other hand...

Image: kyukich
They like to party!


Unknown said...

Is it weird that Blue Monday is actually a day I look forward to since I know a new one of this series is coming out?

Pere Ubu said...

OMG It's a freakin' trilobite!

Joseph JG said...

@Jerry Cant: Haha! Maybe I'm not quite getting into the spirit of the season but we all celebrate in our own way!

Pere Ubu: Yup, it's crazy!