Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Coconut leafminer (060)

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  • Narrow distribution. Philippines, Indonesia, Oceania. Coconuts, betel nut, sago palm, and a number of ornamental and wild palms. Occasional serious outbreaks occur.
  • The youngest 3-4 leaves are attacked first: adults make narrow feeding furrows in leaflets, and larvae mine them. Nursery attacks occur.
  • Outbreaks every 10-15 years, perhaps due to droughts. During outbreaks, leaflets destroyed, young nuts fall, flower production ceases, setting back production by 2 years; some palms may die.
  • Natural enemies: several parasitoid wasps, and ants are reported to be imported.
  • Cultural control: hand picking and pruning infested fronds suggested, but unlikely to be practical.
  • Chemical control: PDPs in nurseries, e.g., chilli, derris, pyrethrum; or synthetic pyrethroids, but these will kill natural enemies.
Common Name

Coconut leafminer, coconut leaf hispid

Scientific Name

Promecotheca species. Several species are recorded from Oceania. Promecotheca caerulipennis has a wide distribution among Pacific island countries. Promecotheca opacicollis has been identified as the species in Solomon Islands.

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
1Information from Swaine G (1971) Agricultural Zoology in Fiji. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London; and Howard FW et al. (2001) Insects on palms. CABI Publishing, UK; and from Atumurirava F et al. Coconut leaf miner technical versus social analysis survey report (21-25 June 2010). Lata, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands; CABI (2019) Promecotheca papuana. Crop Protection Compendium. ( Photos 1&2,4-6 Jean-Pierre Labouisse, CIRAD, Montpellier, France. Photo 3 Henderson RC, Crosby TK (2012) Fiji Coconut Hispid (Promecotheca caerulipennis): 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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