Lady Bug Look-alike but it’s a Colorado Potato Beetle

I was out in the garden and noticed this bug on my tomato plants.  At first, I thought it was a Lady Bug metamorphasizing.

But it’s not.

I’m not sure what it is actually.

They remind me of a tick when it’s swelled up and they’re very messy – yep, a lot of poop and whatever that liquid is 😦

The front end looks like some sort of a beetle…

They have a neck…

and really squishy looking bodies with lots of dots on the side.

The “tail” reminds me of the back two “legs” of a caterpillar.

And the spots…

The more these bugs ate, the bigger they got – all puffed up.

Don’t they sorta look like a Lady Bug??

But they’re not.

Anyone know what this is?  Would love the info so I can know too!

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5 Responses to “Lady Bug Look-alike but it’s a Colorado Potato Beetle”

  1. Marie Hutchison Says:

    Looks like the larva of the Colorado Potato Beetle. definitely in the beetle family. They are ferocious eaters and grow quickly!

  2. Kelly Says:

    HI Cyndi:
    I’m no expert but I do have a handy vegetable garden insect guide with great pictures from Clemson Extension. Like Marie said, it definitely looks like the Colorado Potato Beetle pictured in my book. My book says the following:
    Host – eggplant, pepper, potato, and tomato
    Life Cycle -Adults overwinter in the soil and emerge in the spring. Eggs are laid on the underneathsides of the leaves. In a few days the eggs hatch and the larvae begin to devour the foliage. When the larvae are mature they leave the plant, enter the soil, and pupate. Adults emerge several days later. The life cycle lasts about a month with one to three generations per year.
    Control – Handpick and crush egg masses, larvae, or adults. You may want to collect them in a jar of soapy water. Bacillus thuringiensis var. san diego is effective against Colordao Potato Beetles.

    Hope this helps!
    Kelly in Beaufort, SC

  3. Lydia Rose Says:

    i agree. I was not able to get online earlier, but had seen it in my son’s insect guide. It shows the potato beetle larvae looking just like that only less colorful.

  4. Leslie Cohen Says:

    I have them in my garden also, on my tomato plants. Glad to find out what it is ! I have been hand picking them off my plantsd and squashing them. I tried to feed them to my chickens and they were not interested in them. They are still young so maybe they don’t know about eating bugs yet. Thanks for the info!

  5. Lindy Downie Says:

    I just found the same thing on mine…Im very frustrated! First year ive had issues with pests in the garden!!!!

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