Tortoise Beetles belong to the Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetle) family and is one species I have really been trying hard to find.
According to the books, these are all found along the coastal areas but once again it shows how outdated our distribution maps are as I found this in my garden which is hundreds of miles away from any sea.
All Tortoise Beetles are recognised by the pronotum and elytra which is almost transparent and also covers the head.They mostly feed on the leaves of solanaceous plants such as the potato and tomato as well as Morning Glory.
These beetles are very small, about 5-7mm in length.
Tortoise beetles overwinter as adults under bark, in leaf litter, or in other dry, protected places. In spring, beetles emerge and feed on weed hosts until suitable plants are available. Female adults deposit clusters of 15 to 30 eggs on the undersides of leaves. Larvae emerge 7 to 10 days later. After feeding for 2-1/2 to 3 weeks, larvae transform into pupae. About a week later, a new generation of beetles emerges. Several generations may occur each year in warmer climates.