Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Ficus sandpaper cabbage beetle (238)

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  • Narrow distribution. Indonesia, Oceania. On Ficus (fig) species. A minor pest.
  • Larvae strip the surface, mostly on older leaves. (Leaves are boiled or baked as a 'cabbage').
  • Eggs laid in circular masses on underside of leaves. Grubs yellow, then black, 12 mm, with obvious hairs. Eat in unison. Pupate at base of tree. Adults brown with reddish heads.
  • Cultural control: hand-pick or squash the larvae; or cut off the leaves and branches if too numerous; prune trees making it easier to collect the insects.
  • Chemical control: none recommended because of residues, and likely to be uneconomic.
Common Name

Fig-leaf beetles

Scientific Name

The genus is Poneridia (family Chrysomelidae); there are several similar species, but not all the species of Poneridia feed on figs.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Chris Reid (pers. comm.), Australian Museum, Sydney.

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.

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