Stephen Plummer's picture

Larva 2

Observed: 9th June 2012 By: Stephen PlummerStephen Plummer’s reputation in InvertebratesStephen Plummer’s reputation in Invertebrates
Larva 2
Larva 4

I know I've seen a photo of a creature like this before, but I can't remember when or what it is. It obviously uses the 'twiggy' extension to put over it to blend into its surroundings.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Fenwickfield's picture

no idea

I have no idea either but what an amazing thing,hope someone can identify it as I am dying to know what it is.


Christian Owen's picture

Hi Stephen

This looks like the larva of the Fleabane tortoise beetle (Cassida murraea).

Regards Chris...

Stephen Plummer's picture

Fleabane Tortoise beetle

Thanks for this, Chris - as Fenwickfield says, it's the most amazing creature. I found a piece from an American blog on the internet regarding the discovery of a similar larva of another species. He writes:

This is the larva of a Clavate Tortoise Beetle, and it's really super weird. The green oval-shaped thing with the spines is the actual creature. That big crinkly brown thing on its back? That's a mass of dried excrement. Poop. I couldn't make this stuff up. The larva actually holds this thing up over its back with a special "fork" on its hind end, and it can wave it around at will. Various internet sources suggest that this is some sort of defense mechanism, or a means of camouflage. Either way, blech. Also, ew.

Stephen Plummer's picture

Thanks, Nick....I'm

Thanks, Nick....I'm developing a fascination for these larvae! Are there many uk species?

Nick Upton's picture

UK Tortoise beetles

There are about a dozen species recorded here, all of them Cassida species as far as I'm aware. This link has pics of most, but just the adults. Central/South America, where I've been lucky enough to go many times has masses, with some really of larval forms and behaviours! Some tropical bugs I've come across camouflage themselves in weird ways also - check out this one that piles dead ants on its back...

Nick Upton, naturalist and photographer.