Unless you are very fast or very lucky, you’re not going to see the beetle that’s making the holes in this plant and others like it (morning glory, moonflower and that pest, field bindweed. It’s a shame we can’t train it just to eat that!).
This is a very interesting beetle. I’ve actually only seen it a few times back in my retail gardening days when we had so many of these plants that the beetles came in droves.
They looked like small golden ladybugs. They were beautiful–but of course very destructive. And, of course, that’s only part of the story because this is a very interesting beetle.
This beetle changes color under stress–for example, when we touch it. And of course, when it dies. So what I saw in my retail gardening days as a beautiful golden beetle becomes a red beetle.
Here’s a little bit more information–with some photos–about this interesting beetle from HGTV.
If you do a search for “what’s eating my sweet potato vine,” you’re likely to come upon all sorts of things out there. Take a good look at the photo in the my post. This is damage from the golden tortoise beetle. If your damage doesn’t look like that, it’s possible something else is eating your plant. After all, there are all sorts of insects and critters in our gardens, and we don’t all garden in the same place.
That is a new one to me. I have never heard of it. Of course, I do not grow sweet potatoes either.
I don’t grow them much either– this photo is of a big planter near my office.
But I remember them vividly from my time in retail gardening. I thought they were so pretty. We would have them all over the morning glories.