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Potato tuber blemishes: understanding & diagnosis

Wireworm holes

Causes : Larvae of click  beetles including : Agriotes spp., Athous spp., Conoderus spp., Limonius spp., Melanotus spp.

Diagnostic characters for visual diagnosis

  • Small entry hole (<0.5cm) usually circular penetrating vertically into tuber flash
  • Brown margin around the entry hole
  • Tunnelling beneath the entry hole, sometimes extensive
  • Margin of tunnels usually brown and demarcated from tuber flesh

Notes on confirmatory diagnostics

  • Confirmation requires finding bright orange yellow wireworm larva associated with the lesion

Key reference:

French N & White JH. 1965. PlantPathology 14, 41-43

Keiser et al. 2012.PotatoResearch, 55, 59-67

Le Hingrat et al (2008). A practical guide to diseases, pests ans disorders of the potato, edited by FN3PT, GNIS and Arvalis-Institut du végétal (France)

Wale et al. 2008. Diseases, pests and disorders of potatoes. London: Academic press, Elsevier

more symptoms

Possible confusing symptoms :