CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Air Potato Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris cheni)
It’s HERE!!!!!! My first encounter with this beetle. I just emailed the coordinates to the USDA as requested in the information sheet from UF Entomology.
Introduced as biocontrol for the highly invasive Air potato vine (Dioscorea bulbifera). Feeds exclusively on this non-native species of plant.
If you have air potato vines in your area, you can apply to receive beetles for release: http://bcrcl.ifas.ufl.edu/airpotatofiles/airpotatoforms.shtml
Shown on Florida Native Plant: SAWTOOTH BLACKBERRY; PENNSYLVANIA BLACKBERRY (Rubus pensilvanicus)