- Narrow distribution. Indonesia, Oceania. On coconut, nipa, oil palm and sago; other plants attacked are banana, Heliconia, Pandanus, Ravenala (traveller's palm), and sugarcane. Occasionally, severe outbreaks occur.
- Eggs, mostly in soil; nymphs green or brown, adults 50-60 mm, antennae longer than body; either short or long wings; female with long ovipositor; flight poor; disperse by running or jumping.
- Outbreaks occur after droughts. The treehoppers feed at night, eating flowers, fruits, and leaves to the midrib.
- Natural enemies: parasitoid wasps are known.
- Cultural control: sticky bands or rake soil to expose eggs, but neither method seems practical.
- Chemical control: none recommended.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Coconut sexava treehopper (246)
Photo 1. Isolated coconuts growing amongst dense vegetation heavily defoliated by unidentified sexava species.
Photo 2. Unidentified sexava species, showing short wings and long ovipositor. Note, that the length of the antennae are longer than the body of the insect.
Coconut treehopper, long-horned grasshopper. They are also known as katydids or bush crickets.
Sexava is the name given to a number of species of long-horned grasshoppers belonging to several genera: Segestes, Segestidea and Sexava. Those recorded in Papua New Guinea on coconuts are: Sexava nubila, Segestes decoratus, Segestidia leefmansi, Segestidia rufipalpis, Segestidia uniformis, Segestidia defoliara, Segestidia novaeguineae), and oil palm: Segestes decoratus, Segestidia defoliaria, Segestidea novaeguineae. Sexava species are recorded from Solomon Islands.
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Young GR (2001) A review of sexava research and control methods in Papua New Guinea. In: Proceedings of the sixth workshop for the tropical agricultural entomologists. Technical Bulletin No. 288, 1998. Darwin. Photos 1-7 Richard Markham, ACIAR, Canberra.
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.