Dudeboy and I are starting (with this post) a backyard bug series for the blog. Dr. J found this Mottled Tortoise Beetle on a leaf of Swiss Chard. Being ignorant of all things creepy crawly, we found our guy easy enough in a field guide on insects and spiders.
Apparently, the metallic gold fades with death. One bug site states, "this color shift is achieved by introducing, or withdrawing, moisture to the surface of the exoskeleton. When hydrated, a perfect reflecting surface is produced, but in the absence of the moisture the underlying colors become visible."
Darth Vader . . .