Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Sweetpotato flea beetle (096)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On sweetpotato, most probably water spinach (kangkong), and wild Ipomoea types in the morning glory family. A minor pest.
  • Adult beetles makes irregular feeding marks as they scape the leaf surface.
  • Eggs laid in soil at base of vines; larvae feed on the roots, with some types (in the USA) making trails over the storage roots, which cause splitting.
  • Cultural control: select healthy cuttings; avoid overlapping crops; avoid planting consecutive crops in the same land as eggs, larvae and pupae may still be in the soil.
  • Chemical control: none recommended.

Common Name

Sweetpotato flea beetle

Scientific Name

Chaetocnema species.The species known as the sweetpotato flea beetle is Chaetocnema confinis, especially in the USA. There may be other species.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Chris Reid (pers. comm.) Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia; and from CABI (2019) Chaetocnema confinis (flea beetle). Invasive Species Compendium. ( Photo 1 Mike Quinn, ( Photos 3&4 Mani Mua, SPC, Sigatoka Research Station, Fiji.

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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