Thistle Tortoise Beetle - Cassida rubiginosa


    The elytra are matt green and it often sits with the edges flush to the leaf, leaving no shadow. The specific name rubiginosa refers to the beetle's ability to produce a red liquid from the head.

    Identification difficulty

    Rough grassland and similar habitats that contain Creeping Thistle.

    Life History

    This species has the most interesting larvae and pupae. The larvae have twin tail-spikes and these are sometimes used to carry dead skins and droppings in a kind of parasol. The spikes are retained by the pupa and these are flicked forward if it is disturbed.

    UK Status

    Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, fewer records from Scotland.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. There were a total of 53 VC55 records for this species up to March 2015.

    be our species champion

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map