Gold Bug Tortoise

: Gold Bug, Golden Tortoise Beetle, Sweet Potato Beetle, Tortoise Beetle

SCIENTIFIC NAMEOrder 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 LIFECYCLE: 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.

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