Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Coconut Finschhafen disorder (280)

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  • Narrow distrubtion. In Papua New Guinea only. On coconut, oil palm and betel nut. A major disorder of coconut and a threat to oil palm. Caused by the feeding of a  planthopper.
  • Eggs are laid on leaves and petioles. Adults, 16-18 mm, with distinctive wing spots.
  • The feeding of the planthopper causes premature ageing of older leaves, starting at the tips, moving towards the petioles, followed by death. The symptoms gradually spread upwards. Nuts fall. Spread in plantations is slow and patchy.
  • Natural enemies: wasp parasitoids.
  • Cultural control: tolerant varieties are unknown.
  • Chemical control: use synthetic pyrethroids, but whether this is economic is not known.
Common Name

Finschhafen disorder

Scientific Name

The disorder is caused by the feeding of the leafhopper, Zophiuma butawengi (previously Zophiuma lobulata).

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson 
Information from Gitau CW, et al. (2011) Zophiuma lobulata (Hemiptera: Lophopidae) causes Finschhafen disorder of coconut and oil palms. Annals of Applied Biology 158,139-148; and (including map) Woruba DN, et al. (2014) Entomopathogenic fungi of the oil palm pest, Zophiuma butawengi (Fulgoromorpha: Lophopidae), and potential for use as biological control agents. Austral Entomology 53:268-274. Photos 1-3 Ken Walker (2011) Lophopid Planthopper (Zophiuma butawengi). (PaDIL - (

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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