And Don’t Call Me a Caterpillar

metallic blue leaf beetle larva

Larva of a different order: this wormy, blue critter is not a caterpillar but a beetle larva.

It’s always fun to know which bug you’re looking at. The buzz of knowing…I guess. In this case, it is good to know that this larva is a beetle, though on first blush a novice would be forgiven for guessing that it was a moth larva (a caterpillar). It is a little difficult to tell given the focus in this shot, but the insect has three pairs of true legs like a caterpillar, but it diverges in that it only has one pair of prolegs, which are the stubby, suction-cup-like false legs found on the abdomen. That, in combination somewhat bulbous back end and the texture, suggest to me that it is a beetle.

I strongly suspect this is a leaf beetle, family Chrysomelidae. I will also tepidly offer a genus of Trirhabda, but that is a guess more or less.


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