Friday, May 7, 2010

Getting Some Help With the Horse Nettle

When we went out to show the kids the garden on Saturday, I was alarmed to see what I thought were potato beetles. I even killed a couple after I admired their lovely patterns because I know how destructive potato beetles are to gardens. We think they look a lot like sunflower seeds with lady bug heads.

At home, I began looking for information on-line about them and made a discovery: they ain’t potato beetles! They are False Colorado Potato Beetles (Leptinotarsa juncta), sometimes called the Horse Nettle Beetle.


Well, some of you will recall that the previous blog was about the dreaded horse nettle that is coming up in the plot beside our garden. So to help balance them out, there are beetles that look like potato beetles, but they feed primarily on horse nettle. Who knew?

Below is a picture of a Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata). You can see how well they masquerade as each other.


I think it is all pretty amazing.

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