Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Taro Papuana beetle (030)

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  • Narrow distribution. Indonesia, Oceania. On taro, seedlings of oil palm and coconut, giant taro, banana, giant swamp taro, sugarcane, Pandanus. An important pest.
  • Adult beetles do the damage by boring into the corm. Males are first to arrive awaiting females. After mating, females leave to lay eggs in organic matter.
  • Worse where forest disturbed by logging or cyclones.
  • Cultural control: destruction of breeding sites suggested, but difficult to find; alternatively, grow a legume cover crops, e.g., Mucuna, Pueraria, Glycine, slash (or use herbicide) to kill it, and then plant taro into the mulch.
  • Chemical control: imidacloprid or the pyrethroid cypermethrin at planting, and 3 months.
Common Name

Taro beetle, Papuana beetle

Scientific Name

Papuana species. There are 18 species in Papua New Guinea, 11 of which damage taro; common species are: Papuana woodlarkiana, Papuana huebneri, Papuana trinodosa, Papuana biroi, Eucopidocaulus tridentipes and Papuana szentivanyi.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Carmichael A, et al. (2008) TaroPest: an illustrated guide to pests and diseases of taro in the South Pacific. ACIAR Monograph No. 132, 76 pp. (; and Carmichael A. (2005) Taro beetle (Papuana woodlarkiana). PaDIL -; and from CABI (2019) Papuana huebneri (taro beetle). Invasive Species Compendium. ( Photo 2 Graham Teakle, Canberra. Photo 3 Sada N Lala Taro beetle management in Papua New Guinea and Fiji. Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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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