There are times when one stumbles upon something truly new and astonishing. Such, for me at least, are Tortoise Beetles. You may not have actually seen them, thinking that their little shiny bodies were so much forest or plant detritus. They're not ladybirds and they deserve a closer look.
They're very fond of certain plants, particularly bindweeds, but may chomp on all sorts of plants, that being the most likely reason you would notice them. The naughty effects of their feeding are holes in the leaves of flowers or vegetables such as sweet potato: as such, they are usually considered pests.
Glinting in the sunlight, their truly astonishing variety of wonderful markings declares them to be the animated jewels of the insect world. They can change colour and iridescence by changing the liquid content from beneath their shells. They are chiefly active in spring and summer.
There are an astonishing 254 species of these lovely insects, many of them in Hong Kong. Look out for them!