Other sweetpotato weevils

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Scientific name: Cylas puncticollis (Boheman) and C. brunneus (Fabricius)


Larval tunnels and storage root flesh discolouration (N. Smit).


Adult Cylas puncticollis (N. Smit).

Diagnostic summary

  • What they do to plants

- larvae feed and tunnel into the vines and storage roots.


- adult weevils feed on the tender buds, leaves, stems and storage roots.           

  • What you see on  plants

- damage is characterized by small feeding and ovipositional punctures on the surface and larval

tunnels filled with frass on the tissues.      


- larval feeding inside the vines causes malformation, thickening, drying and cracking.

  • Larval stage is  the most destructive stage.

  • Severely damaged roots become bitter, emit terpene odour, and are less marketable if not unmarketable.

  • Early detection can be done by checking for swollen vine bases and infested exposed roots.

  • Hot, dry weather favours weevil development.

  • Confined to Africa; most important pests in most parts of Africa


Economic importance

Geographical distribution



Biology and ecology

Detection and inspection




View full fact sheet


C. formicarius fact sheet