TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — One of Florida’s most persistent and problematic invasive plants will soon meet a small but formidable enemy.
The air potato leaf beetle — a bright red insect about the size of a pinky fingernail — has a big appetite for the air potato plant.
Air potato vines can completely cover natural areas, smothering other plants and native habitat.
The Tampa Bay Times reports (http://bit.ly/2s6xZfY) the public was recently invited to help release some of the beetles onto air potato vines growing in Tarpon Springs.
The air potato is not native to Florida, which makes it an invasive species. It gets its name from its potato-like tubers, which grow above ground.
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