Rainbow Shield bug

Bicycling along the road to Point Dick, a jewel like bug is walking across the road.  Upon further examination, it reflects a candy-apple shimmer of green to gold to orange, depending on how the light strikes the shell.  Like a tiny leopard in shining armor.

A Rainbow Shield bug, Calidea dregii, crossing the laterite on Pointe Dick road.

It is quite small, less than 2 centimeters in length.  Not knowing what I was looking at, I consulted the library at Smithsonian Vembo Lab and discovered this is a bug, not a beetle.  Bugs have sucking mouth parts, not chewing mouth parts, if anyone was wondering.  Also they have juveniles that resemble the adults, though smaller and without wings, unlike beetles that start out as grubs, usually underground.

Rainbow Shield bugs feed on fruits and plant juices like nectar and sap.

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2 Responses to Rainbow Shield bug

  1. susan says:

    So jewel like- amazing how perfect its surface is. I wonder why nature colors it this way When and where it would blend in or be camoflauged..

    • dk says:

      Susan,
      From my limited scientific expertise, I believe the brightly-colored creatures signify that they are venomous, poisonous, or icky in some other way. Rainbow shield bugs probably don’t taste very good (to birds and reptiles), and they advertise this feature.
      I think there is a pin or set of buttons in the making for FairyFinery wardrobe based on these creatures! DK

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