Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Coconut mealybug (347)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On fruit crops, palm species, and ornamentals. Mealybug of minor importance, except where tended by ants.
  • Damage: (i)  feeding turns plants yellow and weak; (ii) honeydew drips onto foliage and sooty moulds weakens plant growth.
  • Adult (females) up to 2.5 mm long, covered with beige, reddish-brown, yellowish-orange, wax, over reddish-brown to orange body. Wax on top in pyramids, similar to those on margins. Males develop inside cottony cocoons, emerging as tiny fly-like insect with wings, large eyes, legs.
  • Spread by 'crawlers' (nymphs) walking, or carried by wind, vehicles, animals, birds, on clothing, and trade in plants.
  • Natural enemies: ladybird beetles and parasitoid wasp (Pseudaphycus).
  • Cultural control: check nursery plants, prune infestations; add manure or fertilizer to hasten growth; control ants - boiling water, prune low-hanging branches, remove weeds.
  • Chemical control: soap solution, horticultural or white oils (see Fact Sheet no. 56); avoid malathion and synthetic pyrethroids - they will kill natural enemies. Use pyrethroids against ants.
Common Name

Coconut mealybug, spiked mealybug

Scientific Name

Nipaecoccus nipae

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2016) Nipaecoccus nipae (spiked mealybug) Crop Protection Compendium. (; and from Nipaecoccus nipae (Maskell). Featured Creatures. Entomology & Nematology. UF/IFAS, University of Florida. ( Photo 1 Gillian Watson PestNet. (,mealybug,guava,Kosrae,FSM.aspx). Photo 2 Rhode BE & Crosby TK (2013) Coconut Mealy Bug (Nipaecoccus nipae): PaDIL - ( Photo 3 Randy Thaman USP Fiji. Photo 4 United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Photo 5 Mani Mua, SPC, Sigatoka Research Station, Fiji.

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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