For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tortoise Beetles - Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetle)

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According to the books, these are all found along the coastal areas but once again it shows how outdated our distribution maps are as I found this in my garden which is hundreds of miles away from any sea.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.

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