Fun Golden Tortoise Beetle Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Jan 14, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Read these golden tortoise beetle facts about this amazing arthropod with a golden body.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

The golden tortoise beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata) is a type of metallic golden beetle that belongs to the family of the leaf beetle, the Chrysomelidae family.

This type of beetle is different and unique from other beetle species as they have a transparent shell cover on their body and inside that is a golden colored beetle (yes, we promise they really are real!

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They are given the name 'golden tortoise beetle' because of their transparent shell, which is very similar to the hard shell of a tortoise. Interesting, right?

After the much-loved butterflies, beetles are believed to be the second most attractive type of insects as their metallic color and their transparent shell are unique! This beetle grabs the attention of many people across the world.

Another notable feature of the golden tortoise beetle is that they may or may not be found in the standard golden color as their color changes in every new stage of their life cycle.

They are found in different colors during their mating period, development period, and also when a human touches them. Scientific research proves that they change color due to hydration or dehydration of the insect or elytra's body.

Here on our page, we have lots of amazing facts about the golden tortoise beetle that everyone will enjoy. Let's look at these interesting facts, and if you like these, then do read our longhorn beetle and dung beetle facts too.

Golden Tortoise Beetle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a golden tortoise beetle?

The golden tortoise beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata) is an insect in the family of leaf beetles, Chrysomelidae, as these beetles feed on plants and leaves. The golden target tortoise beetle is also known as a golden bug because of its appearance.

What class of animal does a golden tortoise beetle belong to?

The golden tortoise beetle, also known by the scientific name Metriona bicolor or sexpunctata, is of the arthropod phylum and belongs to the class of Insecta.

How many golden tortoise beetles are there in the world?

Golden tortoise beetles are native insects of North America. Populations of these insects are in growth and can be found in abundance, but this insect's exact population is not known to this date.

Where does a golden tortoise beetle live?

These Metriona bicolor tortoise beetles are insects that are found in areas of eastern America, including in Texas. These tortoise beetles are found in gardens on plant foliage and leaves. Their preferred host plants are the vines of sweet potatoes, bindweed, and some other related vines like morning glory.

What is a golden tortoise beetle's habitat?

The golden tortoise beetle's habitat is anywhere with plants and leaves. It may be a garden, forests, or bushes. These species stay and lay eggs on their host plants.

Who do golden tortoise beetle live with?

The social behavior of all species of Coleoptera is similar to that of families of termites and leafcutter ants, which means living together in large groups. Golden tortoise beetles are most commonly found living in groups or near each other. They lay eggs in clusters beside each other on the underside of their host plants.

How long does a golden tortoise beetle live?

The eggs of the golden tortoise beetle take five to 10 days to hatch, and the larvae fully mature in two to three weeks. After that, larvae start to pupate into adult golden tortoise beetles in the following days. The lifecycle of the golden tortoise beetle larvae to adult beetles takes around 40 days.

How do they reproduce?

After tortoise beetles reach their maturity age, they come together for the mating process in the summer season. When mating is over, females feed themselves with weeds and start laying their eggs in clusters.

Females hide their eggs on the underside of leaves, and after the eggs hatch in one week, the larva starts feeding on these leaves. The larva is flattened with many legs and is a reddish-brown color.

A golden tortoise beetle larva shows a particular habit known as an 'anal fork' in which they carry their cast skins attached to their spines. This anal fork works as a type of shield for this species of Coleoptera.

What is their conservation status?

These golden and orange tortoise beetle have the status of Least Concern and are found in abundance. This type of insect population has experienced large growth and has a steady population in North American regions, despite the presence of its predators.

Golden Tortoise Beetle Fun Facts

What do golden tortoise beetles look like?

As their name suggests, golden tortoise beetles are found in a metallic gold color covered with a transparent shell and golden skin. They are oval in shape and are the same size as Asian lady beetles.

This elytra beetle has a metallic gold color with dark-colored markings and black spots on its side. The color of the beetle changes to orange or brown in every new stage of their life cycle, but scientific research for the exact reason for this color change is still going on.

Golden Tortoise Beetle

How cute are they?

Whether they are cute or not is subjective, but gold tortoise beetles are very attractive thanks to their bright colors. They are often seen as the second most attractive insects, just after butterflies, and deservingly so.

How do they communicate?

The adult gold tortoise beetle can communicate with other adults through the use of chemicals known as pheromones. They also use vibrations, sounds, and even body scents to recognize each other. The body scents of males and females are very different in this species.

How big is a golden tortoise beetle?

The gold tortoise beetle is very small in size, and the average size that they are found is around 0.19 to 0.27 in (4.8-6.8 mm) long. These adult beetles are much smaller than the average coin.

How fast can golden tortoise beetles move?

All species of beetles are known to move quite fast, and so do gold tortoise beetles. These creatures can hide fast on surface bores when they feel threatened. Their young larvae also start crawling quickly and can hide away quickly. Their exact speed, however, is not known.

How much does a golden tortoise beetle weigh?

The weight of golden tortoise beetles can be around 1.8 oz (50 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male or female adults of the golden tortoise beetle species. These adults are simply referred to as male golden tortoise beetles and female golden tortoise beetles.

What would you call a baby golden tortoise beetle?

Babies of these golden tortoise beetles can be called larvae when their eggs hatch and are called pupae when they are in the stage before becoming adults. The name of the baby depends on the stage in which the beetle is in.

What do they eat?

Gold tortoise beetles usually feed on foliage and the garden vines like sweet potato vines, morning glory vines, and weeds like bindweed. Larvae start feeding on the leaves of the plant that they were laid on as an egg. They are not known to be predators of any creatures.

Are they harmful?

Gold tortoise beetles are not harmful creatures to humans, but they can damage the vines and leaves of plants easily and drill irregular holes on the surface of these leaves. These creatures ruin the ornamental value of a plant as they munch on it.

Would they make a good pet?

No, golden tortoise beetles cannot be good pets. Due to their short lifespan, their specific diet, and their preferred habitat, these creatures cannot live with humans, so it is better to leave them in the wild.

Did you know...

Like golden tortoise beetles, a mottled tortoise beetle's color also fades to a duller brown-red when its lifespan is near its end.

The golden tortoise beetle's larvae have a particular display, known as the anal fork, which is a type of shield that is used to protect themselves from predators.

Whilst we cannot really buy golden tortoise beetles (they are best left in their natural environment), you can often buy models of them from craft stores or handmade gift companies.

The golden tortoise beetle color change

The gold tortoise beetle is known for its color-changing habit, which is not intentional. The color changes of this beetle when its elytra are dehydrated or hydrated. It is also said that their color changes in every stage of their lifespan and also when they are in the breeding period.

The golden tortoise beetle and people

Golden tortoise beetles are known for their eating habits and for destroying vegetation. Are you wondering what you'd have to do if this beetle is destroying your garden?

The best way to get rid of these vegetation-eating beetles is using neem oil (this should only be used by a responsible adult).

It is the best solution as it works against these beetles and because these creatures do not like neem, they will leave your garden at the sight of neem oil, meaning that you shouldn't have to kill them.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other insects from our giant clam facts and Mydas fly facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Golden Tortoise Beetle coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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