Turned over a chewed-upon morning glory leaf the other night to discover pure gold. A pure gold beettle, that is, as shiny as metal and iridescent to boot. It was so pretty I could easily have mounted it on a band and worn it on my ring finger.
Meet the golden tortoise beetle. It’s about 6 mm long, and has the remarkable ability to change color from shiny gold to dull brown if threatened. I did my best prodding to try to get the one I found to change color, but instead of morphing it just took off and flew away. Apparently they are quite fond of morning glories, sweet potatoes, bindweed, and other plants in the Convolvulaceae family.