Plant-insect interactions are a determining factor for sustainable crop production. Although plants can resist or tolerate herbivorous insects to varying degrees, even with the use of pesticides, insects can reduce plant net productivity by as much as 20%, so sustainable strategies for pest control with less dependence on chemicals are needed. Selecting plants with optimal resistance and photosynthetic traits can help minimize damage and maintain productivity. Here, 27 landrace accessions of lima beans, Phaseolus lunatus L., from the Yucatan Peninsula were evaluated in the field for morphological resistance traits, photosynthetic characteristics, insect damage and seed yield. Variation was found in physical leaf traits (number, area, and dry mass of leaves; trichome density, specific leaf thickness and hardness) and in physiological traits (photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, intercellular carbon, water-use efficiency, and transpiration). Five accessions (JMC1325, JMC1288, JMC1339, JMC1208 and JMC1264) had the lowest index for cumulative damage with the highest seed yield, although RDA analysis uncovered two accessions (JMC1339, JMC1288) with strong positive association of seed yield and the cumulative damage index with leaf production, specific leaf area (SLA) and total leaf area. Leaf traits, including SLA and total leaf area are important drivers for optimizing seed yield. This study identified 12 important morphological and physiological leaf traits for selecting landrace accessions of P. lunatus for high yields (regardless of damage level) to achieve sustainable, environmentally safe crop production.