Sweetpotato stemborer

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Scientific name: Omphisia anastomosalis Guen.


Stem hole made by stemborer larva (A. Braun).


Stemborer larva inside stem (A. Braun).

Diagnostic summary

  • What they do to plants

- larvae bore into the main stem and sometimes penetrate the storage roots. Larval feeding produces large tunnels causing hollow cavities in the stem resulting in wilting and eventual death of infested plants.


- attack at early stages of plant growth prevents storage root formation.


- larvae tunnel into the storage roots making them non-marketable.

  • Infestation during the establishment phase of the crop can result in yield losses of 30-50% or more.

  • Infested plants usually have a pile of frass that can be found close to the attacked stem.

  • Flattened yellow, oval eggs are laid in groups of 2 or 3, usually in  crevices on  stem and occasionally on leaves or in single row of 6 or more eggs along the midrib of the leaf.

  • One of the most destructive pests of sweetpotato in  tropical and subtropical Asia and the Pacific.


Economic importance

Geographical distribution



Biology and ecology

Host range




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