- 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).
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.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Coconut mealybug (347)
Photo 1. Adult female (centre), beige, with filaments at margin, and the white cocoons of the coconut mealybug, Nipaecoccus nipae. Nymph are also present.
Coconut mealybug, spiked mealybug
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2016) Nipaecoccus nipae (spiked mealybug) Crop Protection Compendium. (https://www.cabi.org/cpc/datasheet/36334); and from Nipaecoccus nipae (Maskell). Featured Creatures. Entomology & Nematology. UF/IFAS, University of Florida. (http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/mealybug/coconut_mealybug.htm). Photo 1 Gillian Watson PestNet. (http://www.pestnet.org/SummariesofMessages/Crops/Fruitsnuts/Guava/Nipaecoccusnipae,mealybug,guava,Kosrae,FSM.aspx). Photo 2 Rhode BE & Crosby TK (2013) Coconut Mealy Bug (Nipaecoccus nipae): PaDIL - (http://www.padil.gov.au). Photo 3 Randy Thaman USP Fiji. Photo 4 United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org. 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.