PROGRESO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Agriculture specialists with U.S. Customs and Border Protection intercepted an “invasive” tortoise beetle in a shipment of pineapples.

On Tuesday, specialists were examining a Mexican tractor trailer with fresh pineapples, a news release from CBP stated. While examining the floor of the trailer, they found the beetle.

It was submitted for identification, where it was confirmed as belonging to the genus Stolas sp (Chrysomedilae).

Tortoise beetles feed on leaves and plant material, and are regarded as an invasive pest and “harmful to the U.S. agriculture industry,” CBP stated.

“CBP Agriculture Specialists play a vital role in safeguarding our frontline by protecting the agriculture industry which in turn protects our economy.   The vigilance displayed by CBP Agriculture Specialists at the Port of Progreso is a prime example of their commitment to the CBP mission,” said Port Director Walter Weaver, Progreso/Donna Port of Entry. 

A specimen of Stolas sp. (Chrysomelidae), a First-in-Port pest interception realized by CBP Agriculture Specialists at the Progreso Port of Entry.

The shipment was refused entry and re-exported to Mexico, the release stated.