Did you bring your poop parasol?

I love insects.

Thistle Tortoise beetle

These guys are a particular fave…the larvae of the tortoise beetles carry around their own poop like a parasol to deter predators (wouldn’t you be deterred??).

Thistle Tortoise beetle

This is the thistle tortoise beetle (Cassida rubiginosa), which is a thistle specialist (go figure!) and the larvae can actually do quite a bit of damage. It is an introduced biocontrol agent that got a little out of control (familiar story?). Now it’s everywhere in North America.

Thistle Tortoise beetle

Here’s the adult poking his head out from under his pronotum (a shield that protects him). I caught them during business time.

Thistle Tortoise beetle


7 thoughts on “Did you bring your poop parasol?

  1. Pingback: Thistle herbivores | standingoutinmyfield

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