Something is eating the leaves of my eggplant. The only telltale sign...

Asked June 11, 2013, 10:26 AM EDT

Something is eating the leaves of my eggplant. The only telltale sign indicating what it might be is the black-ish speck you see on the leaf. It seems to possibly be a dropping from the culprit. What's odd is it seems to be eating to leaves higher on the plant and not the lower leaves. Can you please tell me what this is and how I can control it?

Baltimore County Maryland

2 Responses

Luckily it's not one of the significant eggplant pests- it's one of the tortoise beetles (maybe the golden tortoise beetle or eggplant tortoise beetle). The speck in the photo is the beetle with excrement that it throws up on its back to thwart predators.

The beetle does little damage and is most often seen feeding on sweet potato in veggie gardens.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/40795
https://insects.tamu.edu/fieldguide/bimg195.html
JT


Thanks so much!