Meet the rare thumb-sized beetle which shimmers in GOLD

Yahoo! News UK19 February 2013
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The rare golden beetle was spotted in Mundgod, India (Chime Tsetan/Caters)


With its golden appearance and ability to alter its reflectivity, it's clear this rare creature is no ordinary beetle.

The golden tortoise beetle is a stunning insect which shimmers in different shades thanks to its ability to change colour.

This close-up snap of the extremely rare beetle was captured by photographer Chime Tsetan.

He stumbled across the beautiful beetle while visiting an irrigation channel in Mundgod, India.

Chime said: "As kids back in the school days, we used to call it 'Ser Bu' which means golden insect.

"We used to catch the insects and put them in our geometry boxes with the leaves on.

"These beetles come in various colours, golden like this one and also in silver, yellow and spotted."

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Chime took up photography as a hobby while he studied at university after his family moved to India in 1960 when Tibet was invaded by China.

Golden tortoise beetles are common beetles that can be found on morning glory leaves, which are their preferred food.

They can change colour, looking initially like tiny jewels, or golden ladybugs, by altering the level of reflectivity so the outer layers become clear.

Tsetan said: "It doesn't sting or bite. It just tries to get to an elevated place to fly, in this case, my finger tip."

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