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Golden Tortoise Beetle is golden!

Stashed in: Science!, Turtles!, Colors!

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Scientific name: Charidotella (=Metriona) bicolor (Fabricius) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae)


It is one of the most striking insects. The golden tortoise beetle is a stunning, vibrant metallic gold color. It has a magical quality, not only because of the brilliance of its color, but also because the brilliance isn't permanent. Metriona can alter color within a short time period, turning from brilliant gold to a dull, spotty reddish color(- When disturbed, the color becomes orange with black spots-). The gold color also fades when the insect dies. What controls the color while the insect is alive is an intriguing question, but one for which I have no answer. [The gold color is caused by a thin layer of moisture between the cuticle and an inner layer of the elytra. Apparently the insect is able to "voluntarily" squeeze this layer, reducing its thickness and eliminating the gold color. This change also occurs involuntarily when the beetle is under moisture stress, and, of course, when it dies.

As delightful as these beetles look, they can become a nuisance in the garden and flower beds.

Apparently they're not the only golden creatures in nature.

Golden tortoise beetles are fascinating:

This pretty little molten gold beetle has been doing the rounds of the Internet lately, because not only does it look like nothing else on Earth, but it can also completely change colours. And it was the first insect species found that could do so while having sex.

This is golden tortoise beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata, previously known as Metriona bicolor), a tiny, metallic North American insect that belongs to the leaf beetle family, Chrysomelidae. Nicknamed ‘goldenbugs’, golden tortoise beetles grow to around 5.0 to 7.0 mm in length and favour foods such as sweet potato and morning glory.

Source: Universe Explorers

The Golden Tortoise Beatle. - Imgur

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