Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

Information, insects and people from the 2019 BugGuide Gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Discussion, insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Photos of insects and people from the 2014 gathering in Virginia, June 4-7.

Photos of insects and people from the 2013 gathering in Arizona, July 25-28

Photos of insects and people from the 2012 gathering in Alabama

Photos of insects and people from the 2011 gathering in Iowa

Tortoise Beetle0795 - Cassida piperata

Tortoise Beetle0795 - Cassida piperata
Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, USA
August 5, 2007
I thought this was a Tortoise Beetle but couldn't find any good matches.

Images of this individual: tag all
Tortoise Beetle0795 - Cassida piperata Tortoise Beetle0795 - Cassida piperata

Moved from Tortoise Beetles.

US Dept of Ag
Since this appears to not only be a resident alien, but also not on any of the current lists of aliens I found, I contacted the USDA at the Smithsonian to see if they knew about our Tortoise beetle being in the country. Here's one of their replies:

You recently submitted to the USDA Systematic Entomology Laboratory (SEL) in Washington, DC some images of tortoise beetles that were previously identified as Cassida piperata by Dr. Lech Borowiec. The images were referred to Dr. Alex Konstantinov, chrysomelid specialist at SEL, who confirmed that identification.

At USDA, APHIS, Plant Protection and Quarantine, we are interested in this potential new introduction to the US. Can you please forward preserved specimens of the beetles to SEL so we can get a positive determination based on the actual specimens? The form for submitting and instructions are contained at the following SEL website. Please use the address on the website and the specimens will be forwarded to Dr. Konstantinov for final determination.

Thanks very much for your assistance and for bringing this detection to the attention of USDA. Please don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions,

Joel Floyd
Domestic Diagnostics Coordinator
National Identification Service
Plant Safeguarding & Pest Identifications (PSPI)
4700 River Road, Unit 52, office 4D-04B.1
Riverdale, MD 20737

So I'm going to send them the two beetles I found. But neither of mine were on a host plant (or any plant). Steve, if you by chance know the plant you found yours on, that might be valuable.
Seems like BugGuide is now playing a part in Homeland Security! :)

I don't know the host plant. Next year I'll catch 'em when I see them. Thanks.

Wider view of leaf?
Steve, if you can provide a wider view of the leaf (perhaps from the uncropped original), I may be able to identify the plant from your photo.

Additional image added. If you can't figure it out, let me know and I'll look in that area next August. I would be surprised if I could not relocate the plant.

background info
Hmm, I don't recognize it right off. Can you describe a little about the plant and its habitat: such as whether it is a tree, shrub, or herbaceous broadleaf...cultivated or "wild" a garden, roadside, field, woods?

I Can Only Guess
My best guess is mullein. I recall it being very close to the ground. The image was taken over two years ago in a city park in Brooklyn, NY, next to a roadway at the edge of a wooded area. I will try to check out the area for matching leaves next summer. Here are the coordinates: +40° 39' 32.74", -73° 58' 18.24"

good candidate
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) would be a good candidate, consistent with the broadly rounded tip, pubescence (this latter character best seen on your first photo), and disturbed habitat. The low-to-ground growthform that you observed would be consistent with the first-year rosette stage of this biennial plant. Mullein leaves are normally very soft-hairy, but perhaps yours was a young leaf whose pubescence had not fully developed. Another photo of the whole plant next summer would eliminate any doubt.

Thanks for your effort, Steve!

Thank you all for the help.
Thank you all for the help.

google search turned up
several live images that support the ID, e.g. here (sorry, long loading time), but indeed no sign the species is already recorded from the Nearctic. The species is listed as one of the biocontrol agents against Alligatorweed in China.

Cassida piperata - Dr. Lech Borowiec
this just in, from Dr. Lech Borowiec

Dear Colleague,
It looks like Cassida piperata from Russian Far East, Japan, and Korea (compare your photo with my web page). Do you known its host plant in USA? Cassida piperata feeds on Amaranthaceae and Chenopodiaceae and sometimes is common on beet including cultivated plants.

Lech Borowiec

Dr. Lech Borowiec (Prof.)
Zoological Institute
University of Wroclaw
Przybyszewskiego 63/77
51-148 Wroclaw, Poland

here's the image from Lech's web site. Sure looks like a match. Wonder if anyone knows this one has been imported?

Cassida piperata
no wonder we could not figure it out. It´s not on any listing I know of. Nearctica lists these species of Cassida as known north of Mexico:
Cassida Linnaeus 1758

Cassida flaveola Thunberg 1794 (Cassida)
Cassida relicata Spaeth 1927 (Cassida)
Cassida rubiginosa Müller 1776 (Cassida)

must be a recent import.

Not P.clavata either
I can´t believe loosing the numerous tubercles on elytral surface is within range of variation. Compare:

P. clavata
I can´t be completely sure at this stage, but there are not so many species of cassidines from the northeast. In New Hampshire the following species are known: Agriconota bivittata (all reddish bron), Cassida flaveola, Cassida rubiginosa (both green), Charidotella purpurata, Charidotella sexpunctata (both golden), Chelymorpha cassida (red), Deloyala guttata, Physonota helianthi and Plagiometriona clavata
Of these only Plagiometriona clavata looks very similar; the others don´t look anything like it. The appendiculate claws also fit Plagiometriona clavata.

Not D.guttata
same species posted by Tim Moyer:
In D.guttata, the elytral surface is smooth, the humeral area is black, but dark colour does not reach elytral margin behind middle.

Plagiometriona clavata problems
I tried to look for Plagiometriona clavata on Lech´s website on world cassidines to see if Tim´s specimen might be variation of that species. I couldn´t find the species though. There is no Plagiometriona from the states among the species Lech has in Plagiometriona. Don´t know under what name he has Plagiometriona clavata

listed under Stolas?
website has a "clavata" listed under genus Stolas (see here ). But there aren't any photos, and the distro listed as "Peruvia". So perhaps this is not the same "clavata"?

Nearctica for P. clavata lists the prior genus as "Cassida"

On my end, I attempted to key using Downie and Arnett, but did not result in anything that seemed correct. But if you need any specifics, I still have the speciman.

not Stolas
No, the Stolas must be an other much bigger species.
The specimens just strike me as a Plagiometriona clavata without the dark on the front, but I don´t know if this variation exists. Usually Lech´s website shows the variation of species very well, but I can´t find it for this one.
I can´t really find other options for now. Parorectis callosa for example is similar to Plagiometriona clavata, but has the tubercles as well.
Tim, does your specimen have simple or appendiculate (well seperated from each other) claws?

well seperated?
well, they look seperated to me, but I haven't determined this characteristic too often before. The photo isn't the greatest, but can you tell? . These were the front claws. The hind and middle appear similar.

But regardless, you are helping me rationalize . . er, I mean justify purchasing a better scope :)

Another Image Added
I added another view as well but I doubt it will be useful. Thank you all for the help. I also spent the better part of an hour browsing Lech´s website without much luck.

Mottled Tortoise Beetle
Deloyala guttata, I think

Comment viewing options
Select your preferred way to display the comments and click 'Save settings' to activate your changes.