Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Sweetpotato red leaf beetle (053)

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  • Narrow distribution. In parts of Oceania. On sweetpotato, kangkong, and other Ipomoea species. 
  • Eggs on underside of leaves, grubs feed on roots, and after pupation, adults (6 mm) emerge. If many, swarms may occur.
  • Holes made in the leaves as the beetles feed. Young plants slow to grow, but effect on yield unknown. •
  • Cultural control: do not plant new crops next to old infested ones; apply mulches, manures, fertilizer, water for rapid early growth; handpick early in day; collect and burn trash after harvest.
  • Chemical control: PDPs: ash (or ash+lime in water), derris, pyrethrum, or chilli; or synthetic pyrethroids.
Common Name

Sweetpotato red leaf beetle, red sweetpotato beetle

Scientific Name

Candezea (Monolepta) species. There has been a recent revision of the genus, so previous records are now in doubt. However, Candezea palustris has been recorded from Solomon Islands.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Chris Reid (pers.comm.), Australian Museum, Sydney; and Business Queensland (2019) Leaf beetles in field crops. Queensland Government. (; and from DAF (2017) Red-shouldered leaf beetle. Queensland Government. (  

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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