As the vines are pulled to clear the way for the harvest, the metallic gold of the beetles will become more apparent, glinting in the sun.
The BugGuide website has posted a closeup image of one of these beetles, and North Carolina State University reports, through its IPM section, that leaf damage from these beetles typically isn't severe enough to warrant spraying to control them.
Instead, gardeners can just enjoy the double-dose of gold offered up by the sweet potato bed.
|Mottled tortoise beetle on back of a sweet potato leaf, late September. PHOTO/Amy Whitney|