Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Sweetpotato leafminer (341)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On sweet potato and related weeds. Usually, minor importance unless broad-spectrum insecticides used for e.g., sweet potato weevil control.
  • Larvae make silvery, snake-like, mines filled with frass; later, blotches occur developing into holes.
  • Eggs on leaves; larvae, up to 5.5 mm long, yellowish with pink spots along the back, developing into red, rounded, projections on all segments. Later, larvae exit the mines, living under silk threads on backs of leaves, and pupate. Adults, greyish brown, up to 4 mm long, 10 mm wingspan, fringed, with tufts of light yellow to brown hairs on the head.
  • Natural enemies: usually under control by parasiotids (Apanteles).
  • Cultural control: none recommended.
  • Chemical control: none recommended. Insecticides will destroy the biological control.
Common Name

Sweetpotato leaf miner, morning glory leafminer

Scientific Name

 Bedellia somnulentella; previously known as Bedellia ipomoeae.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
1Information from Swaine G (1971) Agricultural Zoology in Fiji. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London; and Sweet potato leafminer (Bedellia somnulentella) Plantwise Knowledge Bank. (; and O'Sullivan J et al . Sweetpotato DiagNotes: A diagnostic key and information tool for sweetpotato problems. (; and from Discover Life Bedellia somnulentella (Zeller 1847 Morning glory leafminer. ( Photo 1 Ben Smart Bedellia somnulentella UK Moths. ( Photo 2 Mark Dreiling, Photo 3 Bedellia somnulentella Wikipedia. (

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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