Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Cocoa pod borer (175)

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  • Widespread distribution. South and Southeast Asia, Oceania. Cocoa, Pacific lychee, rambutan, and cola are hosts. An important pest.
  • The borer is a moth. Eggs laid on the pods 2-6 weeks before maturity; the larvae hatch, tunnel into the pod and feed around the beans. Pods ripen early.
  • Considered one of the worse pest of cocoa, with losses of 20-50%.
  • Biosecurity: follow international guidelines. Several biotypes; non-pest strains in some Pacific island countries.
  • Cultural control: prune every 6 months to create open canopy on trees only 3 m high; pick pods as soon as yellow, and every 7 days, to interrupt life cycle of the moth; bury infested pods; area control is important, i.e., farmers in an area should all apply control measures simultaneously, otherwise moths will come from adjacent infested farms.
  • Chemical control: none recommended.
Common Name

Cocoa pod borer

Scientific Name

Conopomorpha cramerella. It was previously known as Acrocercops cramerella.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from New Agriculturist on-line. (; and CABI (2015) Conopomorpha cramerella (cocoa pod borer) Crop Protection Compendium. (; and Yen JDL, et al. (2009) Cocoa pod borer (Comopmorha cramerella Snellen) in Papua New Guinea: Biosecirity models for New Ireland and the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Risk Analysis (DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2009.01297.x); and from (including Photos 1&2) 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. ( Photo 3 Smilja Lambert ABC Rural Foreign aid to fight cocoa bug (2012). Photo 4 Cocoa pod borer. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Queensland Government.

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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