Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Coconut flat moth (065)

Click/tap on images to enlarge
  • Narrow distribution. In Hawaii and Oceania. On coconuts and other palms. Occasionally serious on mature palms and seedlings, but effect on yield unknown.
  • Larvae do the damage, making a protective fine web and eating the leaf from the underside. More abundant during dry weather.
  • Natural enemies: several parasitoid wasp introductions have been made; also ants eat the eggs and spiders eat the adults.
  • Cultural control: no recommendations.
  • Chemical control: on mature palms pesticides unlikely to be economic, and will delay control by natural enemies; on seedlings, use synthetic pyrethroids, but they will also kill natural enemies.
Common Name

Coconut flat moth

Scientific Name

Agonoxena sp. The main pest species of Pacific Island countries is Agonoxena argaula. Agonoxena pyrogramma also occurs.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Agonoxena argaula Meyrick. Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press. Photos 1,2&4 Gerald McCormack, Cook Islands Biodiversity & Natural Heritage. (

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.

Copyright © 2022. All rights reserved.