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Golden Tortoise Beetle


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

SCIENTIFIC NAMEMetriona bicolor — Order: Coleoptera, Family: Chrysomelidae


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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