Parimatidium cf. rubrum

Tortoise Beetle

Tortoise Beetle, Parimatidium sp.


Family: Chrysomelidae

Subfamily: Cassidinae

Tribe: Imatidiini

Length: beetle in photo 5.1 mm


In genus Parimatidium antennomere eleven is longer than ten, while in the similar genus Imatidium the reverse is true. Parimatidium spp. are distributed from Venezuela to Paraguay. The food plants are oil palms in genus Elaeis (Arecaceae).

Note the feeding damage in the photos. An article in Science (Wilf, et al., 2000) discussed the evolutionary history of certain tortoise beetles that feed on gingers. Finding the fossil records of feeding damage similar to that seen here, the authors proved that the beetles they studied "coexisted with the dinosaurs and outlived them, while never changing their diet" of ginger leaves.

Photo data: 23 May 2012. North-central Amazonas state, near Rio Negro, Brazil.

Determined by Dr. Lech Borowiec, Zoological Institute, University of Wrocław.