Insect of the month: Golden Leaf Beetle

This insect of the month is a relatively unknown one. It hasn’t been used that much for scientific research and the few articles it is mentioned in focus more on the plants it lives on or the parasites that live on these beetles. So it took me some time to find more information on this beautiful beetle – the golden leaf beetle (Podontia lutea).

podontia lutea

Although there isn’t much information available about the behaviour and other aspects of this beetle, I did notice that they are in demand as pieces of jewelery. It is a bit ironic then, that this very attractive beetle starts its life as a larva covered in its own faeces…

Golden Leaf Beetle Larvae (Podontia lutea, Chrysomelidae)

It may seem disgusting, but carrying their faeces on their backs might help in deterring their enemies such as ants and may serve in regulating their body temperature. In any case, they undergo a drastic change when they grow up!


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