Project(s) of GTI scholarship holder AGBESSENOU Ayaovi

Establishing the taxonomic identity of sweet potato weevil Cylas species-complex (Coleoptera: Brentidae) in seven regions in Ghana

Grantee: AGBESSENOU Ayaovi

Internship details

  • Years

    2015, 2016 and 2018

  • Training location

    Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

  • Belgian supervisor

    Dr. Dekoninck Wouter

  • Studied organism (classification)

    Animalia – Arthropoda – Insecta – Coleoptera – Brentidae – Cylas

  • Reports

Sweet potato is one of the most important root crops for human consumption in sub-Saharan Africa. The sweet potato weevil of the genus Cylas is considered to be the most destructive pest of the crop. Adults of all species may be conveniently sexed by the shape of the distal antennal segment, which is filiform (thread-like, cylindrical) in males and club-like in females. Apart from separation of species into sexes, taxonomic separation into species has always come with its attendant problem.

Certain species may be predominant in some geographical regions: C. puncticollis and C. brunneus are confined to Africa, both occur simultaneously and might emerge from one infested storage root, while C. formicarius occurs in other parts of the world. However, the liberal trade between regions and continents do allow the free flow of materials across frontiers, with the possibility of different species finding their way in regions far removed from their origins. In such cases, non specialists may place intercepted species as those found in the regions. It is in this regard that the establishment of the proper identification of this all-important tuber pest needs to be ascertained, so as to aid in directing the right management strategies for the identified species.


Additional documentation

Discover more about this GTI project by:

  • consulting the awareness material related to Mr. Agbessenou’s internships; this output was produced in the context of two GTI awareness projects (2016 & 2018)
  • going through the presentation that Mr. Agbessenou prepared for the RBINS symposium on December 3, 2015

Scientific papers

  • Billah, M. K., Agbessenou, A., Wilson, D. D., Dekoninck, W., and Vangestel, C. (2017). Morphometric Studies of the Sweet Potato Weevil, Cylas Species-Complex in Southern Ghana. Science and Development 1, 2–18. View paper
  • Agbessenou, A., Wilson, D. D., Billah, M. K., Dekoninck, W., Vangestel, C., Carey, E. E., and Adofo, K. (2016). Survey on the distribution of the Sweet potato weevil, Cylas species-complex in Ghana (Coleoptera: Brentidae). Bulletin SRBE/KBVE 152, 81–88.