Damage caused by Planococcus citri Risso (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in the production of cocoa.
The effect of attack by Planococcus citri on cocoa production was evaluated in Bahia, Brazil. Damaged cocoa pods were 0.7 cm shorter and 35.2 cm lighter than uninfested pods, and most of the weight loss was attributed to damage to the husk (29.0 g). The fruit pulp was the least affected part, with 2.4 g loss per pod, which was not significant. The loss in dry bean weight amounted to 3.8 g per pod, which gave the highest relative loss (9.65%), representing a 4-9% yield loss in infested areas. It is concluded that this loss was negligible in terms of the whole plantation. However, the association between P. citri and Wasmannia auropunctata [Ochetomyrmex auropunctatus] should be controlled, owing to the problems caused by the ants and the yield loss caused by the pseudococcids. Considering the interdependency of the 2 pests, control could be applied to one species only.