Tortoise beetle
Tortoise Tor"toise, n. [OE. tortuce, fr. OF. tortis crooked, fr. L. tortus twisted, crooked, contorted, p. p. of torquere, tortum, to wind; cf. F. tortue tortoise, LL. tortuca, tartuca, Pr. tortesa crookedness, tortis crooked. so called in allusion to its crooked feet. See {Torture}.] 1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of reptiles of the order {Testudinata}. [1913 Webster]

Note: The term is applied especially to the land and fresh-water species, while the marine species are generally called turtles, but the terms tortoise and turtle are used synonymously by many writers. See {Testudinata}, {Terrapin}, and {Turtle}. [1913 Webster]

2. (Rom. Antiq.) Same as {Testudo}, 2. [1913 Webster]

{Box tortoise}, {Land tortoise}, etc. See under {Box}, {Land}, etc.

{Painted tortoise}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Painted turtle}, under {Painted}.

{Soft-shell tortoise}. (Zo["o]l.) See {Trionyx}.

{Spotted tortoise}. (Zo["o]l.) A small American fresh-water tortoise ({Chelopus guttatus} or {Nanemys guttatus}) having a blackish carapace on which are scattered round yellow spots.

{Tortoise beetle} (Zo["o]l.), any one of numerous species of small tortoise-shaped beetles. Many of them have a brilliant metallic luster. The larv[ae] feed upon the leaves of various plants, and protect themselves beneath a mass of dried excrement held over the back by means of the caudal spines. The golden tortoise beetle ({Cassida aurichalcea}) is found on the morning-glory vine and allied plants.

{Tortoise plant}. (Bot.) See {Elephant's foot}, under {Elephant}.

{Tortoise shell}, the substance of the shell or horny plates of several species of sea turtles, especially of the hawkbill turtle. It is used in inlaying and in the manufacture of various ornamental articles.

{Tortoise-shell butterfly} (Zo["o]l.), any one of several species of handsomely colored butterflies of the genus {Aglais}, as {Aglais Milberti}, and {Aglais urtic[ae]}, both of which, in the larva state, feed upon nettles.

{Tortoise-shell turtle} (Zo["o]l.), the hawkbill turtle. See {Hawkbill}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tortoise beetle — Cassida viridis Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • tortoise beetle — n. any of various small, often brightly colored or iridescent, turtle shaped beetles (family Chrysomelidae) that feed chiefly on plant leaves …   English World dictionary

  • tortoise beetle — any of several turtle shaped leaf beetles, as Chelymorpha cassidea (argus tortoise beetle or milkweed tortoise beetle), which resembles the ladybird beetle and feeds primarily on bindweed and milkweed. [1705 15] * * * ▪ insect       any member of …   Universalium

  • tortoise beetle — noun 1. : any of numerous small tortoise shaped beetles of the family Chrysomelidae many of whom have a brilliant metallic luster and whose larvae feed upon the leaves of various plants 2. : any of several Australian tenebrionid beetles of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • tortoise beetle — noun Date: circa 1711 any of various chrysomelid beetles (subfamily Cassidinae) with leaf eating larvae …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tortoise beetle — tor′toise bee tle n. ent any of several turtle shaped, brightly colored leaf beetles of the subfamily Cassidinae • Etymology: 1705–15 …   From formal English to slang

  • Golden tortoise beetle — Taxobox name = Golden Tortoise Beetle regnum = Animalia phylum = Arthropoda classis = Insecta ordo = Coleoptera subordo = Polyphaga familia = Chrysomelidae subfamilia = Hispinae tribus = Cassidini genus = Charidotella species = C. sexpunctata… …   Wikipedia

  • argus tortoise beetle — noun Etymology: after Argus, mythological being; from its spots : a reddish tortoise beetle (Chelymorpha cassidea) spotted with black * * * argus tortoise beetle noun A black spotted, reddish, tortoise shaped beetle that feeds on plants of the… …   Useful english dictionary

  • argus tortoise beetle. — See under tortoise beetle. * * * …   Universalium

  • milkweed tortoise beetle. — See under tortoise beetle. * * * …   Universalium

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