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Palmetto Tortoise Beetle - Hemisphaerota cyanea

Palmetto Tortoise Beetle - Hemisphaerota cyanea
Stuart, Florida, USA
November 25, 2004
This is the underside of the Tortoise beetle fecal nest, showing the larva protected by it's fecal strands...eeewwww!

I was actually surprised to find how brightly colored the grub was. This photo was taken at the Seabranch Preserve State Park.

You might like this paper I stumbled across about the fecal thatch of this species:

Great pic BTW!

I recently read about these in For Love of Insects(1). Eisner reports that the thatch is complete within 12 hours of hatching. It apparently provides great camouflage as most predators don't bother it. At least one ground beetle, however, Calleida viridipennis, has learned the trick and probably preys on them often.

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