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Meet The Golden Tortoise Beetle – Tiny Jewels With Legs (Video + 12 Pics)

Have you ever seen these little specs of gold with legs?

These tiny treasures are called golden tortoise beetles.

They look very similar to ladybird beetles and can be found feasting on all types of plants, all over the world.

Photograph via crapidrawatwork on Reddit

They get their funny name from their peculiar structure, specifically their hardened wing covers which protect its flying wings.

These hardened wing covers have a flattened ridge that outlines the body and conceals its head and legs, much like a tortoise.

Photograph by Rob Swatski on Flickr

This feature serves its purpose, also much like a tortoise, to tuck in its body parts when under attack.

The golden tortoise beetle can be found all over the world but is very common in North America, where it can often be found all over plant in the backyard.

Photograph by Kenneth Ng on Flickr

These golden beetles aren’t always so gold, like most other colorful creatures, they change color depending on their season, or in this case, even depending on their mood.

Photograph via Scientific American

Under their shell, they have three layers of cuticle. These appear smooth when covered with liquid and reflect light perfectly, just like a mirror would.

Photograph by lika2009 on Flickr

When this beetle is under attack, it contracts the spaces between the laters, this moved the liquid away from the grooves changing it from a bright gold to a duller brown/orange color.

Photograph by Farhan Haekal on Flickr
Photograph by Dougeee on Flickr
Beck Photography (AhBek on Flickr)

Written by Joe Kahlo

After years of writing in the financial industry, Joe was finally able to focus his writing on what he loves, Animals!