Definition of tortoise beetle in US English:

tortoise beetle


  • A small leaf beetle with an enlarged thorax and wing cases which cover the entire insect.

    Cassida and other genera, family Chrysomelidae

    • ‘The Gratiana boliviana, 5-to 6-millimeter-long tortoise beetle, appears to have the fecundity, longevity, and host-specificity to make it an ideal natural control agent.’
    • ‘Another resident was a little tortoise beetle, Deloyola guttata, which I found to be fairly abundant on a morning glory vine.’
    • ‘They belong to the subfamily Donaciinae of the family Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles), which is one of the largest of beetle families in the world and contains highly specialised plant feeders such as flea beetles and tortoise beetles.’
    • ‘Other animals are known to use scat for surprising purposes; larval tortoise beetles pile fecal shields on their backs to protect them from predators.’
    • ‘Extensive screening of possible biological controls in 1996 and 1997 led the scientists to the 5-to 6-millimeter-long tortoise beetle, Gratiana boliviana.’