Hey Buggy Joe!! What is it? - Golden Tortoise Beetle

The strange looking oval-shaped larvae of this beetle also share general characteristics with other tortoise beetles such as the Thistle Tortoise Beetle (Cassida rubiginosa) (see BYGL Alert! posted on June 9, 2017, “Holey Bleached-Out Canada Thistle”).  They have spiny projections along the margins of their body and a fork-like projection called a caudal furca, or “anal fork,” at the end of their abdomen.  They use the anal fork to hold a pile of fecal material (frass) and old shed skins in an umbrella-like fashion over their bodies.  This “fecal shield” presumably deters the unwanted attentions of predators and parasitoids.

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