Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Coconut scale (104)

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  • Worldwide distribution. Main hosts are coconuts and banana, but also avocado, breadfruit, cassava, guava, oil palm, sugarcane. An important pest.
  • It is an armoured scale with a hard covering over its body. Eggs are laid under the scale; "crawlers" (nymphs) hatch, disperse (walk, wind, animals), but soon settle to feed and form the armour. Males are tiny, mosquito-like, mate and die. Females produce offspring even without mating.
  • If numerous, fronds yellow, dry, fall and palms die.
  • Natural enemies: ladybird beetles, parasitoid wasps.
  • Cultural control: none recommended.
  • Chemical control: soap, white or horticultural oils; do not use synthetic insecticides as they will destroy predators and parasitoids, and delay natural control.
Common Name

Coconut scale, transparent scale

Scientific Name

Aspidiotus destructor

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Waterhouse DF, Norris KR (1987) Aspidiotus destructor (Signoret). Biological Control Pacific Prospects. Inkata Press; and from Watson GA, et al. (2016) Apidiotus rigidus Reyne (Hemiptera: Diaspididae): a devasting pest of coconuts in the Philippines. Agriculture and Forest Entomology 17:1-8 (,Philippines%20between%202010%20and%202015). Photo 1 Mani Mua. Sigatok Research Station. SPC, Fiji. Photo 2 (and Diagram) Gillian Watson, Senior Insect Biosystematist, Plant Pest Diagnostics Branch, California Department of Food & Agriculture, Sacramento, CA, USA.

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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