common names: Gold Bug, Golden Tortoise Beetle, Sweet Potato Beetle, Tortoise Beetle
scientific name: Order Coleoptera, family Chrysomelidae, Metriona bicolor
size: Adult--1/4", larva--3/8"
identification: Oval, flattened, squared at the shoulders, golden. Larvae are flat with a forked posterior appendage that curves forward over the body. Larvae have conspicuous thorny spines around the outside edge.
biology and life cycle: Females lay eggs on foliage, and the spring larvae hang around on the underside of leaves in June and July.
habitat: Foliage of sweet potato, eggplant, and other morning glory and nightshade plants.
feeding habits: Adults and larvae eat the foliage of eggplant, morning glory, sweet potato, and other nightshade plants. They eat holes and sometimes entire leaves.
economic importance: Destruction of food crops.
natural control: Insectivorous animals.
organic control: Beneficial fungi or plant oil products.
insight: Larvae look like moving bits of dirt. The spiny waste and dry skin covered larvae are found on the underside of leaves.