Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Beet webworm (345)

Click/tap on images to enlarge
  • Worldwide. Defoliation by caterpillars important on beet, amaranth, and legumes - if attack coincides with pod-filling.
  • Larvae feed from underside of leaves, making 'windows'; later, feed from within rolled leaves. Up to 25 mm, greyish-green (reddish-pink at maturity), with dark line along back. Adult with white bands on wings.
  • Spreads on the wing: famous for long-distance migrations; spread in plant trade.
  • Natural enemies: larval parasitoids.
  • Cultural control: weed; plant far from infested crops; in small plots, remove leaves with caterpillars, or squash by hand; collect debris and destroy after harvest.
  • Chemical control: PDPs (neem, derris, pyrethrum, or chilli, with soap to get them into rolled leaves); use spinosad or Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis). Avoid, synthetic pyrethroids: they will kill natural enemies.
Common Name

Beet webworm, Hawaiian beet webworm

Scientific Name

 Spoladea recurvalis; previously known as Hymenia recurvalis. It is a member of Crambidae.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
1Information from Swaine G (1971) Agricultural Zoology in Fiji. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London; and CABI (2017) Spoladea recurvalis (Hawaiian beet webworm) Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Beet webworm - Spoladea recurvalis. (; and from McCaffrey S, Harding C (2009) (Spoladea recurvalis): PaDIL - ( Photo 1 Alton N. Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia, Photo 2 Mark Dreiling, Photo 3 McCormack, Gerald (2007) Cook Islands Biodiversity Database, Version 2007.2. Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust, Rarotonga. Online at: ( 

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.