Green tortoise beetle

Green Tortoise Beetle

Green Tortoise Beetle ©

Green tortoise beetle

Scientific name: Cassida viridis
When threatened, the Green tortoise beetle acts just like a tortoise, pulling its feet and antennae in and hunkering down, gripping the leaf it is on as tightly as possible. Look for it on White Dead-nettle in gardens and hedgerows.

Species information


Length: 8-10mm

Conservation status


When to see

April to October


The Green tortoise beetle is one of a group of several closely related beetles. It feeds on White dead-nettle, Hedge Woundwort and Water Mint, and is often found in gardens. When disturbed, the adults behave just like tortoises, retracting their antennae and feet, and pulling their 'shell' tight down around them as they grip tightly on to the leaf they are on.

How to identify

The Green tortoise beetle is round, flattened and lime green. Tortoise beetles are easy to identify as a group, but there are several closely related species that are very difficult to tell apart; the Green tortoise beetle is entirely green and generally lacks the markings of other species.


Widespread in England and Wales, rarer in Scotland.

Did you know?

The spiny larvae of the Green tortoise beetle hold a 'coat' of cast skins and droppings on their backs to camouflage themselves and deter predators.

How people can help

Our gardens are a vital resource for wildlife, providing corridors of green space between open countryside, allowing species to move about. In fact, the UK's gardens provide more space for nature than all the National Nature Reserves put together. So why not try planting native plants and trees to entice birds, mammals and invertebrates into your backyard? To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.