Golden Tortoise Beetle

This garden curiosity can change color under stress.
golden-tortoise-beetle

golden-tortoise-beetle

Turn over a morning glory leaf in summer and early fall, and you might see a tiny, golden, almost jewel-like beetle.

Gold bugs, as golden tortoise beetles are often called, feed on the undersides of morning glory and sweet potato leaves. Their larvae are also found there. Distinctively different in appearance from the adults, the larvae are covered in spines, over which is distributed fecal matter and castings from earlier moltings.

golden-tortoise-beetle-orange

golden-tortoise-beetle-orange

The golden tortoise beetle retains its gold color as long as all is well in its life. When disturbed, it turns a dull reddish-orange with black spots. When its dies, it's the same reddish orange.

The golden tortoise beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata bicolor) is generally not viewed as a serious pest.

Next Up

In Defense of Spiders

Learning to love the worldwide webs.

Ordering Beneficial Bugs By Mail

Send insect pests packing with mail-order beneficial bugs.

Stink Bugs in the Garden

Because the stink bug releases its unpleasant scent when crushed, drowning may be preferred to squashing.

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

These large beetles do their best work at night: feeding on wood-destroying fungi.

Clearwing Sphinx Moth

Here's a critter that looks vaguely like a bee but behaves like a hummingbird.

Welcome the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle to Your Garden

This member of the ground-beetle family is considered a beneficial insect in the garden.

How to Manage Mosquitoes in the Garden

Use basic strategies as well as new approaches for controlling mosquitoes in your outdoor spaces.

Bug Off: Get the Earwigs Out of My Garden!

Learn why earwigs give garden writer Gayla Trail the willies.

Assassin Bug

Despite its unfriendly name, this critter is a friend to gardeners most of the time.

Fun Facts About Garden Insects

Those tiny creatures inhabiting your yard have fascinating lives of their own.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

What's New in Outdoors

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.