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Tortoise Beetle (for Sumon Da)

Tortoise Beetle (for Sumon Da)
Photo Information
Copyright: Haraprasan Nayak (haraprasan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1570 W: 101 N: 5421] (20403)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-23
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Tamron 18-200mm F3,5-6,3 XR DiII LD Asp, Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro
Exposure: f/36.0, 1/160 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-09-10 5:21
Viewed: 4986
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 66
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Thanks to Radek (Radomir Jaskula)(cicindela)for showing me the enormous site regarding these beetles. The nearest match was Aspidimorpha (s. str.) miliaris (Fabricius, 1775) its host plant is Ipomoea fistulosa (Oriya-Amari) (English-Morning Glory) of family Convolvulaceae.

Today I dedicate this post to Sumon Da (mana). Thanks a lot for viewing.
The incredible little tortoise beetle, which is from the Cassidinae family, is quite interesting to observe. The body of this tiny creature has an oval shape with flattened sides that give it the appearance of a miniature turtle. Tortoise beetles are herbivores, feeding on and spending their entire lives on plants such as bindweed.

For those who are not familiar with the bindweed plant it is a vine type plant with arrow shaped leaves. When bindweed is blooming the flowers are either pink or white with an amazing trumpet shape to their petals. Bindweed is often found in fields that are sunny and moist, where it will quickly take over any surrounding vegetation.

The tiny tortoise beetles are, in some cases, brightly colored with shimmering greens, reds and gold making them very easy to spot. To find this minute creature from the Coleoptera order look for a field that is lush with bindweed. Once you have found the plant check the leaves until you find tiny holes that appear to be chewed away. Close to these holes you will usually discover a minute, flat beetle that is no larger than a half inch in diameter. Move cautiously as you approach since most tortoise beetles are wary of disturbances and will quickly fly away if disturbed.

Close observation of this small beetle will show that the brightly colored shell covering the wings is so all-inclusive that even the head is covered. The tortoise beetles coloration, which is considered the most brilliant of any North American beetle, will shimmer in the sunlight appearing to change as you watch. Interestingly, it is only the outer shell of the wings and upper body that are colored. In some species these beetles will even have spots or stripes on their outer shell which is why some species are often mistaken for ladybugs.

One of the more interesting observations concerning the tortoise beetle is what occurs when they die. As the life of this tiny creature fades, the bright color on the outer shell diminishes as well. Even so, enough of the shimmering iridescence is left behind that these tiny insects are often used to make jewelry. With over 254 species of beetles in the Chrysomelidae family, the tortoise beetle is not only the most brightly colored species, it is also one of the most interesting to observe. Surfacing around the middle of summer this tiny creature riddles the leaves of its food source as it hungrily feeds before mating. In some areas it is even considered a pest because of the destruction it does to various garden plants.

After a rather frenzied feeding the adults will mate. The female tortoise beetle deposits her eggs on the bottoms of the leaves of their chosen plant source either one at a time or, in some species in clutches. Within two weeks the larvae have hatched and begin to immediately feed on the leaves. The larvae stage of this insect is quite fascinating since each of the larvae build a shield to protect themselves from predators. To observe this process, look for tiny dark specks on the bindweed leaf. These will appear to be nothing more than a tiny pile of debris but to the tortoise beetle larvae they represent much more. The shields consist of fecal droppings that are excreted by the larvae and the skins that have been cast off as they molt.

If you gently raise this pile of debris you can observe the tiny larvae. Each larva will collect this debris, using it to cover their bodies while they mature. Closer observation will show two hair-like protrusions at the rear of the larvae. These are used to attach the larvae to a leaf as it sheds its skin, beginning at the head. As the larvae wriggles out of their skin it remains attached to these two tiny prongs and shields the minute creatures body as it continues to feed. Fecal excretions are deposited on the skin forming a kind of protective barrier that is often called a fecal shield.

After around six weeks the larvae are mature and a week of pupation follows before they return as mature adults. New adults will feed until summer is ending. They will then fly to the base of their plant food and hibernate among the debris at the base of the plant until the following summer.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Insecta
Order Coleoptera
Suborder Polyphaga
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea
Family Cassidinae
Genus Aspidimorpha
Species miliaris
Source: www.essortment.com & Bugguide.net

cataclysta, uleko, marhowie, anel, LordPotty, oanaotilia, Argus, zulfu, bahadir, schnoopie, Dis. Ac., nglen, xTauruSx, Alex99, cicindela, boreocypriensis, jrobertop, Juyona, Jamesp, vral, Mick_M has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Haraprasan
It is fantastic, beautiful beetle. Fantastic perfectly sharp shot, with great compo with a beetle on the left. Very detail photo and good note
I like it very much

Hello Haraprasan,

Excellent picture of this tortoise beetle. Excellent sharpness and superb detail. Good use of the flash. Nice colours.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-09-10 5:29]

Hello Haraprasan,
Nice to see you as my neighbour today! Great capture of this interesting and tiny Beetle that looks encapsulated in jelly!! Excellent sharpness and fine colours. Well composed and a very interesting note too!
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

Hi HP,
What an interesting specie you show us here..I've never seen this one before.
A great presentation & comp mf.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-09-10 5:40]

Hello Haraspasan,
Excellent shot of this small and interesting beetle. Its amazing shape just strikes the mind. Your picture is fabulous, has a great technical quality and the note going with it is very educative.
Thanks a lot

Namastay Hara,
This is one very cool macro!
An amazing looking beetle and a superb capture of it.
Fantastic exposure,colour and detail.
Great work Haraprasan!

  • Great 
  • cris Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 22 W: 3 N: 31] (789)
  • [2008-09-10 5:50]

Interesting creature, I never seen something like this.
Nice colours, and good detail.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-09-10 6:25]

Hello Hara,
A great macro of a species of Tortoiseshell Beetle taken with excellent sharpness and superb DOF from this POV.
Great to view this and it makes a fine tribute to our frien Sumon.
Thanks for sharing this beauty,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-09-10 6:43]

Hello Haraprasan,
What an amazing macro. Very sharp and in wonderful colours. Great composition and POV.
Very beautiful!
Kind regards,

incredible beetle!
i never seen sometyhing like this???
wonderful colors and good farme

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2008-09-10 7:34]

hi prasan,
good to see this beauty so close with all the details. good composition and you have not left anything about this species in your notes. great. tfs.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-09-10 7:48]

Hello haraprasan, a very strange beetle:) lovely colours and perfect details.
TFS and regards,


Hi Haraprasan, a superb macro capture of this beetle.
TFS and regards,

Hi Haraprasan,
I've never seen a beetle like this before. It looks amazing.
You captured it very sharp and detailed with good colors.
TFS Tatjana

very fantastik. it has a transperant armaur plate. TFS

A really very strange beetle and great close-up shot Haraprasan. Perfect! TFS.
Regards, Deniz

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-09-10 11:26]

Hi Haraprasan . A nice dedication to our good friend. A fine beetle to do it with , this is beautiful which you have capture with fine detail and bright colours. A most unusual looking thing . well done TFS . Interesting notes too.


Hi Haraprasan,

Very good macro shot of this beautiful insect.
The face from this beetle looks like gelatine.
Beatiful warm colours.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-09-10 11:38]

Hi Haraprasan.
Great close-up taken with tremendous aperture value. I like DOF a lot as well as the sharpness and details of the cute beetle and nice surroundings. Bravo. Well done and well presented.

Hello Haraprasan!
What a gret capture! It is one of the est picture of Cassidinae (sometimes known as separate family, not a part of Chrysomelidae) I have even seen! My colleague from University of Wroclaw is the very good specialist in word fauna of this beetle group, I am sure that soon I would be able to send you species ID. Anyway, there is a perfect web site with picture of wordl fauna of this beetles. I think it is good to know it, as there is not too much so professional beetle web pages in the internet :) And here is the address :)
Best greetings and many thanks fr this wordeful and very sharp photo!

Wowww... haraprasan what an interesting bug resemblling a hatted-ladybird:P more than tortoise:D. Great details and perfect focusing. Many thanks for sharing this beauty.


Insecto raro raro,interesantisimo y bien capturado..una gozada.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-09-10 13:18]

Hi Haraprasan,

An amazing looking beetle for an amazing photographer, Sumon. Nice dedication. I have never seen anything like this beetle before. He looks like he is encased in gelatin. Excellent colors and details - he absolutely fascinates me.


Hello Haraprasan.
This is fantastic!
Fine colors and details.
Excellent sharpness and luminosity.
Congratulations for more a wonderful work photographic!
Josť Roberto

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-09-10 16:57]

Hola amigo,
realmente excelente tu trabajo,
buena macro y hermosa compo. y pov,
saludos Harap.

hello haraprasan,
very nice capture, i have never seen this species before, liked the pov and the composition,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-09-10 22:57]

Hi Haraprasan,
THANK YOU so for dedicating this outstanding image to me. I still remember your excitement the day you got this one and telephoned me from the spot. Fantastic image of this exclusive image with very impressive sharpness and colours. Great diagonal composition too. Thanks for sharing this fine image.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-09-10 23:22]

Hi Haraprasan

Great shot of this amazing-looking insect. Lovely detail colour and lighting. Great work and worthy dedication.


Hi Haraprasan

Excellent shot of this unusual looking beetle.
Great sharpness, composition and details, great note


  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-09-11 7:14]

merhaba Haraprasan
wonderful macro photo of this interesting bug and nice gift to sumon
i like POV, light, colours and sharpness

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-09-11 14:14]

Wow! What a striking image of this amazing Tortoise Beetle!
The frame-filling composition is excellent.
Very good sharpness.
Superb DOF.
Excellent exposure.

Well done, Haraprasan!


  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-09-11 21:28]

Hello HP, From where on the earth you spot such a lovely ones. Amazing shot with superb focus. Great great work /ganesh

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  • vral Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 1 N: 218] (1049)
  • [2008-09-12 1:52]

Hello Haraprasan,

Awesome macro of this BUG. You've handled the flash very well.Colors and details are perfect. Composition and top view is simply great.
Thanks lot for sharing

Hi Haraprazan,
Very interesting
Thanks for sharing.

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