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Species Hemisphaerota cyanea - Palmetto Tortoise Beetle

Palmetto Tortoise Beetle - Hemisphaerota cyanea no idea - Hemisphaerota cyanea Hemisphaerota cyanea - Palmetto Tortoise Beetle - Hemisphaerota cyanea Hemisphaerota cyanea - Palmetto Tortoise Beetle - Hemisphaerota cyanea Lots of these guys - Hemisphaerota cyanea Hemisphaerota cyanea Hemisphaerota cyanea? - Hemisphaerota cyanea Hemisphaerota cyanea
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Coleoptera (Beetles)
Suborder Polyphaga (Water, Rove, Scarab, Long-horned, Leaf and Snout Beetles)
No Taxon (Series Cucujiformia)
Superfamily Chrysomeloidea (Long-horned and Leaf Beetles)
Family Chrysomelidae (Leaf Beetles)
Subfamily Cassidinae (Tortoise Beetles and the Hispines)
Tribe Hemisphaerotini
Genus Hemisphaerota
Species cyanea (Palmetto Tortoise Beetle)
Other Common Names
Florida Tortoise Beetle, Iridescent Blue Chrysomelid Beetle
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Hemisphaerota cyanea (Say)
Orig. Comb: Imatidium cyaneum Say 1824
Explanation of Names
cyanea - "dark blue".
1 sp. in se US (8 or 9 spp. in the West Indies) (1)
se US (MS-FL-NC), introduced: s. TX (2)
Breeds on both native and ornamental palms (Arecaceae) (1), (3)
Larvae of this species create strands of fecal matter enclosing them in a nestlike thatch that protects them from predators. Thatch is retained when the larvae pupate, until the adult has emerged and its shell has hardened. Thomas Eisner has a very detailed description of this process in his book For Love of Insects.(4)

Egg-sacs of this species are covered by the mother with fecal pellets (below).
Print References
Eisner T., & M. Eisner. 2000. Defensive use of a fecal thatch by a beetle larva (Hemisphaerota cyanea) Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 97: 2632-2636. Full Text
Beshear, R.J. 1969. Observations on the life history of Hemisphaerota cyanea in Georgia. Journal of the Entomological Society of Georgia 4: 168-170.
Jackman, J.A. 1976. A tortoise beetle, Hemisphaerota cyanea, on palms in Texas. The Southwestern Entomologist 1: 181-183.
Woodruff, R.E. 1965. A tortoise beetle (Hemisphaerota cyanea (Say)) on palms in Florida (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Florida Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry. Entomology Circular 35. Gainesville, FL. Full Text
Internet References
Featured Creatures - Donald Hall and Jerry F. Butler, 2001
Works Cited
1.American Beetles, Volume II: Polyphaga: Scarabaeoidea through Curculionoidea
Arnett, R.H., Jr., M. C. Thomas, P. E. Skelley and J. H. Frank. (eds.). 2002. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, FL.
2.Catalog of Leaf Beetles of America North of Mexico
Ed Riley, Shawn Clark, and Terry Seeno. 2003. Coleopterists Society.
3.Host plants of leaf beetle species occurring in the United States and Canada
Clark et al. 2004. Coleopterists Society, Special Publication no. 2, 476 pp.
4.For Love of Insects
Thomas Eisner. 2003. Belknap Press.