Sweetpotato bugs

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Common name: Sweetpotato bug; Large spine-footed bug


Scientific name: Physomerus grossipes Fabricius

Common name: Giant sweetpotato bug



Scientific name: Spartocera batatas (Fabricius)


Nymphs of sweetpotato bug suck on stem (E. Vasquez).

Giant sweetpotato bugs (J. Lotz, FDACS).

Diagnostic summary

  • What they do to plants

    - nymphs and adults pierce the stems and petioles of sweetpotato and suck the plant sap causing stunting and wilting.

  • Sweetpotato bug is found in Southeast Asia.  Giant sweetpotato bug is found in Africa, Caribbean and North America.

  • A minor pest.


Economic importance

Geographical distribution



Biology and ecology

Host range




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