Wednesday, June 27, 2012

golden tortoise beetle, Charidotella bicolor: Sweet Potato Vine

june 27, 2012
sweet potato vine variety -  sweet mexican batata - $2 per pot, starter vine

What is Eating My Sweet Potato Vine?

by K-State | July 29, 2011 at 9:33 PM

It is time to be on the lookout for a picturesque insect called the golden tortoise beetle, Charidotella bicolor. This beetle is oval and bright, metallic gold, orange-red, or yellow-green. They may be mistaken for ladybird beetle adults, but they really don’t look like ladybird beetles. The beetle feeds primarily on ornamental sweet potato vines and plants in the morning glory family (Convulvulaceae). The beetle creates small, round, irregular-shaped holes in leaves during feeding that somewhat resemble slug damage, but there is no slime trail on the plants. Beetles may be present on leaf undersides during the day. Larvae are flattened and spiny, and may be yellow to red-brown. They feed on leaf undersides, and carry their cast skins and feces on their back.
There is usually one generation per year. Control or management is generally not required because ornamental sweet potato vines produce such an abundance of leaves that the adult and/or larvae will not cause significant plant damage.

June 27, 2012. Reading on the article above, I think I still have the larvae eating my Blackie variety of sweet potato. spinny - dark grey, and  I found the golden bettle on some leaves. I thought the golden bettle was cute...darn it was eating my sweet potato.

sweet potato vine - variety blackie - on sale for $2  a starter pot

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