Insect eating leaves of potatoes
February 1, 2010
I have this infectation of hairy 6 legged bugs eating my potato leaves. At first I thought it was a woolie aphid but they aren’t. The are about 2mm wide and about 5mm long and there are masses of them all over the back of my potato leaves. However this is the only plant in the vegie patch they seem to have taken a liking too. To me they look like a hairy what & black caterpillar but when you rool them over they only have 6 legs. I have sprayed the potato leave with white oil which seems to be killing them but I would really like to know what they are.
Australia, NSW, Ulladulla on the south eastern coast.
Most Lady Beetles in the family Coccinellidae are beneficial predators, with both adults and larvae consuming insects that are detrimental to plants, including many crops, but alas, your larvae are 28 Spotted Potato Ladybird Beetles, Epilachna vigintioctopunctata, one of the few plant pests. The Brisbane Insect Website has a wonderful page on this species. You may also find information on the Butterfly House website where it is called the 28 Spot Ladybird.