Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Cocoa mirids (274)

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  • Narrow distribution. Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea. On cocoa, and many other crops. Important pests.
  • Eggs laid in cocoa pods. Pseudodoniella has hump, Helopeltis has long antennae, and a spine on the back. Direct damage is done when mirids feed on young and mature pods, and shoots, and indirectly allowing entry of fungi, causing rots and dieback.
  • Cultural control: avoid Leucaena shade over cocoa in mirid areas, instead use coconuts to encourage ants that are antagonistic to mirids.
  • Chemical control: use synthetic pyrethroids (e.g., bifenthrin) or imidacloprid, treating 'hot spots' only, not the whole plantation..
Common Name

Cocoa mirids

Scientific Name

Helopeltis clavifer and Pseudodoniella species (Pseudodoniella typica, Pseudodoniella laensis, Pseudodoniella pacifica).

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Moxon JE (1992) Insect pests of cocoa in Papua New Guinea, importance and control. In: Keane PJ, Putter CAJ (eds) 'Cocoa pest and disease management in the Southeast Asia and Australasia'. FAO Plant Production and Protection Paper 112, pp 129-144. Rome; and Hori K (2000) Possible cause of disease symptoms resulting from the feeding of phytophagous heteroptera. In: Schaefer CW, Panizzi AR (eds.) 'Heteroptera of economic importance'. CRC Press, pp 11-36. Photo 3 Graeme Cocks Bowerbird. (; and from End MJ, et al. (Eds.) 2017. Technical guidelines for the safe movement of cacao germplasm. Revised from the FAO/IPGRI Technical Guidelines No. 20 (Third Update, October 2017). Global Cacao Genetic Resources Network (CacaoNet), Bioversity International, Rome, Italy. (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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