Status: No conservation concerns
This is a type of Tortoise Beetle, specifically Aspidomorpha sanctaecrucis. They get their common name because of the tortoise-like shell which they can pull down very strongly to the surface of a leaf, thereby thwarting the attentions of predators such as ants. The second part of the Latin or scientific name means “holy cross”, because from the top it looks like the beetles are splayed out by being nailed to a cross! (via Richard Seaman)
First I loved the Tortoise Beetle solely because I thought it was interesting – I mean it definitely resembles a little turtle doesn’t it? Then I loved it because of its cute face (see pic #1). Finally, I love it because it’s got a cool trick:
The Tortoise Beetle can perform optical illusions of color!
some species can change color very rapidly when disturbed by adding or removing liquid from immediately under their shell.