Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Sweetpotato West Indian weevil (119)

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  • Widespread distribution. Central and South America, Caribbean, parts of US and Asia. An important pest.
  • Adults lay eggs in base of stem ('crown') and in storage roots, and larvae do the damage by making tunnels. Same damage as sweetpotato weevil (Cylas).
  • Does not fly; crawls from weedy borders.
  • Spreads in cuttings and storage roots, same as Cylas.
  • Cultural control: early, deep rooting varieties; plant only tip cuttings; remove wild morning glory; hill-up, covering cracks during dry times; ideally, make one-time harvest; 3-4-year crop rotation; after harvest, collect and destroy vines and infested storage roots.
  • Chemical control: treat vines (bifenthrin); treat plants in field every 3-4 weeks (bifenthrin or fipronil).
Common Name

West Indian sweetpotato weevil

Scientific Name

Euscepes batatae; previously Euscepes postfasciatus

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2014) Euscepes postfasciatus (West Indian sweet potato weevil). Invasive Species Compendium (; and 1Reid C (2010) Identification of sweetpotato weevil species in the west Pacific. Australian Museum. Sydney; and Brookes D, et al. (2019) Origins, divergence, and contrasrting invasion history of the sweet potato weevil pests Cylas formicarius (Coleoptera: Brenttidae) and Euscepes batatae (Coleoptera: curculionidae) in the Asia-Pacific. Journal of Economic Entomology XX(XX): 1-9.; and from O'Sullivan J et al. (undated) Sweetpotato DiagNotes: A diagnostic key and information tool for sweetpotato problems. (; Photos 1&2 Gerald McCormack, Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage. (

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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