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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Living With Tortoiseshell Beetles (16 Mar 2017)

I have a small Curry Leaf plant in my balcony garden that recently looked like it is dying. The leaves of the plant looked really bad and I thought it was infested with some plant pests like Mealy Worm or White Flies.



Just when I was about to spray the plant with pest spray, I noticed that there were many small black stuff on the leaves. Initially I thought they were bird poo but upon closer examination, I was pleasantly surprised that the black stuff were Tortoiseshell Beetle larvae.




Knowing that my Curry Leaf plant was not infested by pests but by Tortoiseshell Beetles, I decided to let the plant be without any pesticide. It was only a few days later that I started to see pupae on the leaves of the plant.


I am surprised to learn that adult beetles have emerged from the pupae just a few days ago.


I was glad to be able to capture one of the beetles just emerged from the pupae.


As suspected, the beetle looked very much like the Tortoiseshell Beetle (Silana farinosa), minus the white coloration. From the white patches on the Tortoiseshell Beetle, I think it is the Silana farinosa Tortoiseshell Beetle.


Time will tell if this Tortoiseshell is truly the Silana farinosa Tortoiseshell Beetle. I will update the blog when there are new developments on this beetle. Here's a photograph of a Tortoiseshell Beetle (Silana farinosa) for those who do not know how this beetle look like.


It was indeed a pleasant surprise find even though it was brutal to my Curry Leaf plant.

17 Mar 2017 - As promised, here's a quick update on the Silana farinosa Tortoiseshell Beetle. It was only about two days and the mostly brown color Tortoiseshell Beetles have all changed and don the distinctive moldy white coloration.




It is so wonderful to be able to see the transformation of these Silana farinosa Tortoiseshell Beetles just over a few weeks.