whats eating my morning glory leaves? (pics)

lisa_ch(6)June 23, 2006

Does anyone have any thoughts on what may be eating my Morning Glory leaves?

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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Perhaps caterpillars.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2006 at 11:56PM
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go out after dark and look for earwigs!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 4:15AM
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Thanks for the replies.
I have not seen any caterpillars but I have seen earwigs. I will go out tonight and see what I can see.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 8:20AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Earwigs typically make clusters of very small tattered holes.

Other things -- caterpillars, sawfly larvae, slugs, snails -- make larger holes. Sometimes slugs and snails leave behind a glossy slime trail; other times they don't.

But as for seeing earwigs in the gardens, that's far different than convicting them of doing the damage.

I suggest you continue to look for the culprits.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2006 at 7:42PM
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I have not convicted the earwigs as of yet. I am still looking for this devious culprit. I do not believe it to be slugs but I have not completely removed them from the suspect list either. As for the sawfly larvae, I have not met this particular vermin. I am off to research who this may be. I will keep you posted on any new developements in the case.

Sorry about that, I guess I am feeling a little goofy this morning.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 7:46AM
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I doubt highly that's earwig damage. I have loads of them, and to be honest, as much as I hate them, they really don't do alot of damage.

Having defended those nasty creatures, looking at the size of your damage, I'm guessing maybe a leafcutter bee or grasshoppers. I never knew grasshoppers did much damage, until I watched one eat foliage last year. But, it might be a little early for them; I'm not sure at all...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 10:24AM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Not leafcutter bees because they remove very tidy circles and half circles.

Hmmm. Grasshoppers are something to look into. I've never been cursed with them but from what I've been told, the damage can be very extensive.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 1:48PM
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although everyones situation may be different than mine, i will forever defend my stance. i have seen earwigs do this exact damage to my seedlings. with the numbers i have had, there is no doubt. i have had them eat the entire tops off in one night. they would be so thick on top, you couldn't see the plant. and yes, the tattered laciness as well for the older plants. and yes, edges appearing to have been eaten from the sides.

then again, i did say "look" for them after all. it doesn't mean that it is the problem. :)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 11:20PM
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TwoMonths(So Calif)

I will suggest wasps. they have gone after my plants and roses...saw them. They use them to make nexts. check to see if you have wasps. Caution they can bite, but they do eat bad bugs...ever see one eat a tomato worm, a small wasp can pick up a huge one and it just sucks out the inside and leaves the head and skin...gross...good luck. June

    Bookmark   June 25, 2006 at 11:53PM
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You might also want to watch for the tortoise beetle. I am starting to see them now. Everything in the morning glory family are hosts, and in fact their only diet.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 12:02AM
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Thats it! I think it may be the tortoise beetle. I never knew what they were called but I have seen them on my plants. I wasn't even aware that they were doing damage. Every time i have seen them they did not appear to be doing any damage. I just thought they were interesting looking bugs. I am off to do some reserach on them now. Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2006 at 6:50AM
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I found golden tortise beetles on my morning glories yesterday. I didn't know what they were and came here to get them ID'd. I think the beetle is beautiful and as long as it keeps to the morning glories I could care less.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2006 at 6:14PM
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I don't control them on my plants, either. The damage so far has been minor and transient. Actually, since bindweed is a relative, the tortoise is also considered a beneficial insect in that the feeding it does on bindweed helps to control it.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 9:34PM
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I don't think it's earwige damge...earwigs make swiss cheese out of leaves and sometimes start from the outside margin in. But your C type-holes look too big to have come from earwigs.
I also agree with Fairy Toadmother! Earwigs can be highly destructive to certain plant leaves and flowers!!! The expecially take to the leaves of Amaranthus 'Intense Purple', Blue Bedder Salvia and Salvia hormonium species in my yard. Blue Bedder never makes it past the seedling stage and the Amaranthus makes it but they will chew on them all season long if I let them. Last year they chewed up lots of white Datura flowers from the inside out and I caught'em red handed. With the use of some trap crops (lettuce) and homemade traps I caught and destroyed a gazillion. I also learned they liked to hide in the ropes of Amaranthus 'Love Lies Bleeding' during the day. So no more in my garden! This year I have only had 1 Amaranthus 'Intense Purple' and 3 salvia damaged , but a far cry less than last year.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2006 at 11:30PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

They like sweet potato vine too. They never killed anything here, just punched a lot of holes. Their gold color is not always active. Sometimes they are ladybug-like - reddish orange with small black spots.

Here is a link that might be useful: Metriona bicolor

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 9:05AM
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