Sweet potato weevil

Sweet potato weevil (English)

Cylas formicarius(Botanical)


Hot, dry weather favours sweet potato weevil development. At optimal temperatures of 27-30 oC. C. formicarius completes development (from egg to adult) in about 33 days. The adult weevil is 5-7 mm long, slender, smooth and hard-bodied ant-like insect with a distinct snout, metallic blue head, forewing and abdomen. The legs and thorax are reddish brown. The females differ from the males in antenna and body size. The terminal club of the female's antenna is ovoid while that of the male is cylindrical. Usually, the females are larger than the males.


Cultural control practices have proven to be effective against the sweet potato weevil and should be the main basis of control. Sanitation of the field, removing previous crop debris. Use of un-infested vine tips as planting material. Crop rotation. Timely planting and prompt harvesting to avoid a dry period. No registered chemical control.


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