Tortoise Beetle Photos and Information

The Tortoise Beetle is a really confusing creature. When we first saw it we thought it was bird poop or something else. It is very tiny, less than an inch across. It took us a while to realize this was an actual living creature. It is eating up holes in our tomato plant leaves. These are different "creatures" that we took photos of so it's not just chance that one had black crud stuck to its back. This must be something about the molting process that is common to this type of beetle.

To be more specific the one we're taking pictures of is a Clavate Tortoise Beetle or Plagiometriona clavata in the Tortoise Beetle tribe of Cassidini. Interestingly, they can fly in this state! I was taking the photos and one flew away!

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