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Datasheet

Aspidiotus destructor (coconut scale)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 11 October 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Aspidiotus destructor
  • Preferred Common Name
  • coconut scale
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
A. destructor
TitleA. destructor
Caption
CopyrightNatural History Museum, London
A. destructor
A. destructorNatural History Museum, London
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Cocos nucifera, Solomon Islands. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
TitleLine artwork of adult female
CaptionA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Cocos nucifera, Solomon Islands. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
CopyrightCAB International
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Cocos nucifera, Solomon Islands. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
Line artwork of adult femaleA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Cocos nucifera, Solomon Islands. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).CAB International
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Carica papaya, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
TitleLine artwork of adult female
CaptionA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Carica papaya, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
CopyrightCAB International
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Carica papaya, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
Line artwork of adult femaleA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Carica papaya, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).CAB International
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Persea americana, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
TitleLine artwork of adult female
CaptionA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Persea americana, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
CopyrightCAB International
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Persea americana, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
Line artwork of adult femaleA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Persea americana, Fiji. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).CAB International
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Citrus maxima, Western Samoa. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
TitleLine artwork of adult female
CaptionA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Citrus maxima, Western Samoa. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
CopyrightCAB International
A. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Citrus maxima, Western Samoa. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).
Line artwork of adult femaleA. destructor; anatomic details of an adult female taken from Citrus maxima, Western Samoa. 1: General aspect. 2: Pygidium. 3: Antenna. 4: Anterior spiracle (not to scale).CAB International

Identity

Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Aspidiotus destructor Signoret, 1869

Preferred Common Name

  • coconut scale

Other Scientific Names

  • Aspidiotus cocotis Newstead, 1893
  • Aspidiotus lataniae Green, 1896
  • Aspidiotus simillimus translucens Fernald
  • Aspidiotus translucens Cockerell & Robinson, 1915
  • Aspidiotus transparens Green, 1890
  • Aspidiotus vastatrix Leroy
  • Aspidiotus watanabei Takagi, 1969
  • Temnaspidiotus destructor (Signoret) Borchsenius

International Common Names

  • English: bourbon aspidiotus; bourbon scale; transparent scale
  • Spanish: cochinilla blanca-amarilla del coco; cochinilla del cocotero; escama blanca del cocotero; escama del cocotero; escama del pino; escama transparente
  • French: cochenille du cocotier

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Schildlaus, Kokospalmen-
  • Italy: Cocciniglia del cocco

EPPO code

  • ASPDDE (Aspidiotus destructor)
  • ASPDTR (Aspidiotus transparens)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Hemiptera
  •                         Suborder: Sternorrhyncha
  •                             Unknown: Coccoidea
  •                                 Family: Diaspididae
  •                                     Genus: Aspidiotus
  •                                         Species: Aspidiotus destructor

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Aspidiotus destructor was first described by Signoret in 1869. Williams and Watson (1988) list synonyms and discuss nomenclature.

Description

Top of page Jalaluddin and Mohanasundaram (1992) describe the morphology of different instars and the adult female and male of A. destructor. Williams and Watson (1988) provide a key and give detailed descriptions and illustrations of adult female morphology. Considerable variation occurs in the relative sizes and number of distinguishing features, such as median and second lobes, macroduct number and marginal setae (Williams and Watson, 1988).

Egg

The eggs are yellow and very small. They are laid under the scale around the body of the female.

Larva and Pupa

Females have two nymphal stages, while males have two feeding nymphal stages, followed by non-feeding pre-pupal and pupal stages (four immature stages altogether) (Tabibullah and Gabriel, 1973).

The first-instar larvae are about 1mm long, yellowish-brown, oval and translucent. Second-instar females become immobile and secrete a translucent wax scale cover. The second-instar males are smaller than the females. They group together, secrete a filamentous waxy material and become immobile. The male pre-pupal and pupal stages are spent under the scale produced by the second instar stage.

Adults

The scale cover of the adult female is oval to circular, 1.5-2.0 mm across, fairly flat, very thin and translucent. The pale yellow exuviae are more or less central on the scale (Williams and Watson, 1988). The yellow adult female under the scale is 0.6-1.1 mm long.

The adult male scale cover is redder than the female's, smaller and more oval (Williams and Watson, 1988). The male has one pair of wings and is motile.

Distribution

Top of page A. destructor apparently originated in the Pacific islands (Burger and Ulenberg, 1990) but is now recorded in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. It is present in nearly all countries where coconuts are grown. In the northern parts of its range, it is found only under glass (Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998). It has been recorded under glass at a few botanic gardens in the UK (C Malumphy, Central Science Laboratory, UK, personal communication).

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AzerbaijanPresentCIE, 1966; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998
BangladeshPresentAPPPC, 1987
BhutanPresentNHM, 1985
British Indian Ocean TerritoryPresentCIE, 1966
Brunei DarussalamPresentWaterhouse, 1993
CambodiaPresentCIE, 1966; Waterhouse, 1993
China
-FujianPresentCIE, 1966; Tao, 1999
-GuangdongPresentCIE, 1966; Tao, 1999
-GuangxiPresentCIE, 1966; Tao, 1999
-HainanPresentCIE, 1966; Tao, 1999
-Hong KongPresentCIE, 1966
-HubeiPresentTao, 1999
-HunanPresentZhou et al., 1993
-JiangsuPresentCIE, 1966
-JiangxiPresentTao, 1999
-ShandongPresentCIE, 1966; Tao, 1999
-SichuanPresentTao, 1999
-ZhejiangPresentCIE, 1966; Tao, 1999
Georgia (Republic of)PresentCIE, 1966; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998
India
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresentNHM, 1992
-Andhra PradeshPresentCIE, 1966
-AssamPresentCIE, 1966
-BiharPresentCIE, 1966
-GujaratPresentCIE, 1966
-Indian PunjabPresentCIE, 1966
-Jammu and KashmirPresentCIE, 1966
-KarnatakaPresentCIE, 1966
-KeralaPresentCIE, 1966
-LakshadweepPresentNHM, 1940; CIE, 1966
-Madhya PradeshPresentCIE, 1966
-MaharashtraPresentCIE, 1966
-OdishaPresentCIE, 1966
-SikkimPresentCIE, 1966
-Tamil NaduPresentCIE, 1966
-Uttar PradeshPresentCIE, 1966
-West BengalPresentCIE, 1966
IndonesiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993
-Irian JayaPresentWilliams and Watson, 1988
-JavaPresentCIE, 1966
-Nusa TenggaraPresentCIE, 1966
-SumatraPresentCIE, 1966
IranPresentCIE, 1966; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998
JapanPresentKawai, 1980
-Bonin IslandPresentNakahara, 1982
-HonshuPresentCIE, 1966
Korea, DPRPresentDanzig and Pellizzari, 1998
MalaysiaPresentWaterhouse, 1993
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentCIE, 1966
-SabahPresentCIE, 1966
-SarawakPresentCIE, 1966
MaldivesPresentWatson et al., 1995
MyanmarPresentCIE, 1966; Waterhouse, 1993
NepalPresentNHM, 1967
OmanWidespreadKinawy, 1991
PakistanPresentCIE, 1966
PhilippinesPresentCIE, 1966; Velasquez, 1971; Waterhouse, 1993
Saudi ArabiaPresentNHM, 1969; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998
SingaporePresentAPPPC, 1987; Waterhouse, 1993
Sri LankaPresentCIE, 1966
TaiwanPresentNHM, 1930; Takagi, 1969; Wong et al., 1999
ThailandPresentAPPPC, 1987; Waterhouse, 1993
VietnamPresentCIE, 1966; Waterhouse, 1993
YemenPresentNHM, 1958

Africa

AngolaPresentCIE, 1966
BeninPresentCIE, 1966
BurundiPresentCIE, 1966
CameroonPresentCIE, 1966
Cape VerdePresentCIE, 1966
CongoPresentCIE, 1966
Congo Democratic RepublicPresentBuyckx, 1962
Côte d'IvoirePresentCIE, 1966
EgyptPresentCIE, 1966; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998
EritreaPresentCIE, 1966
EthiopiaPresentCIE, 1966
GhanaPresentCIE, 1966
GuineaPresentCIE, 1966
Guinea-BissauPresentCIE, 1966
KenyaPresentCIE, 1966
MadagascarPresentCIE, 1966
MauritaniaPresentCIE, 1966
MauritiusPresentCIE, 1966; Williams and Williams, 1988
MozambiquePresentCIE, 1966
NigeriaPresentCIE, 1966
RéunionPresentCIE, 1966
RwandaPresentCIE, 1966
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentCIE, 1966; Fernandes, 1974
SenegalPresentCIE, 1966
SeychellesPresentCIE, 1966
Sierra LeonePresentCIE, 1966
SomaliaPresentCIE, 1966
South AfricaPresentCIE, 1966
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentCIE, 1966
SudanPresentCIE, 1966
TanzaniaPresentCIE, 1966
-ZanzibarPresentCIE, 1966
TogoPresentCIE, 1966
UgandaPresentCIE, 1966
ZambiaPresentCIE, 1966
ZimbabwePresentNHM, 1957

North America

MexicoPresentCIE, 1966; Miller, 1996
USA
-ConnecticutPresentNakahara, 1982
-FloridaPresentCIE, 1966
-GeorgiaPresentNakahara, 1982
-HawaiiPresentHeu, 2002
-PennsylvaniaPresentNakahara, 1982

Central America and Caribbean

Antigua and BarbudaPresentCIE, 1966
BahamasPresentNHM, 1968
BarbadosPresentCIE, 1966; Bennett and Alam, 1985
BelizePresentCIE, 1966
Cayman IslandsPresentCIE, 1966
Costa RicaPresentCIE, 1966
CubaPresentCIE, 1966
DominicaPresentCIE, 1966
Dominican RepublicPresentCIE, 1966
GrenadaPresentCIE, 1966
GuadeloupePresentCIE, 1966
GuatemalaPresentCIE, 1966
HaitiPresentCIE, 1966
HondurasPresentCIE, 1966
JamaicaPresentCIE, 1966
MartiniquePresentCIE, 1966
MontserratPresentCIE, 1966
Netherlands AntillesPresentCIE, 1966
NicaraguaPresentCIE, 1966
PanamaPresentCIE, 1966
Puerto RicoPresentCIE, 1966
Saint Kitts and NevisPresentCIE, 1966
Saint LuciaPresentCIE, 1966
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentCIE, 1966
Trinidad and TobagoPresentCIE, 1966
United States Virgin IslandsPresentCIE, 1966

South America

Brazil
-AlagoasPresentCIE, 1966; Foldi, 1988
-AmazonasPresentFoldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-BahiaPresentCIE, 1966; Claps et al., 2001
-CearaPresentCIE, 1966; Claps et al., 2001
-Fernando de NoronhaPresentFoldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-MaranhaoPresentFoldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-ParaPresentFoldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-ParaibaPresentCIE, 1966; Foldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-PernambucoPresentCIE, 1966; Foldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-PiauiPresentCIE, 1966; Foldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-Rio de JaneiroPresentCIE, 1966; Foldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-Rio Grande do NortePresentCIE, 1966; Foldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-Santa CatarinaPresentFoldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-Sao PauloPresentCIE, 1966; Foldi, 1988; Claps et al., 2001
-SergipePresentCIE, 1966
Chile
-Easter IslandPresentCharlin, 1973; Claps et al., 2001
ColombiaPresentCIE, 1966; Kondo, 2001
EcuadorPresentCIE, 1966; Kondo, 2001
-Galapagos IslandsPresentCIE, 1996
GuyanaPresentCIE, 1966
PeruPresentCIE, 1966
SurinamePresentCIE, 1966
VenezuelaPresentCIE, 1966

Europe

FrancePresent only under cover/indoorsGermain and Matile-Ferrero, 2005; Germain and Matile-Ferrero, 2005
FrancePresentGermain and Matile-Ferrero, 2005; Germain and Matile-Ferrero, 2005
GermanyPresentDanzig and Pellizzari, 1998
ItalyPresentLongo et al., 1995
Portugal
-MadeiraPresentCIE, 1966
Russian FederationPresentCIE, 1966; Danzig and Pellizzari, 1998

Oceania

American SamoaPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966; Williams and Watson, 1988
Australia
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentCIE, 1966; CSIRO, 2001
-QueenslandPresentCSIRO, 2001
FijiWidespreadNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966; Williams and Watson, 1988
French PolynesiaWidespreadNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966; Williams and Watson, 1988
GuamPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966
Marshall IslandsPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentNAPPO 15:2; Suta and Esguerra, 1993
New CaledoniaPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966
PalauPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966
Papua New GuineaPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966
SamoaWidespreadCIE, 1966; Williams and Watson, 1988
Solomon IslandsPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966
TuvaluRestricted distributionNAPPO 15:2; IPPC, 2005
VanuatuPresentNAPPO 15:2
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresentNAPPO 15:2; CIE, 1966

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page A. destructor is a highly polyphagous species. Davidson and Miller (1990) recorded it from hosts belonging to 75 genera in 44 plant families, but its host range is probably wider than this. Its hosts are typically perennial species and include many species of fruit trees, such as avocado, breadfruit, mango, guava and papaya.

Coconut is its favourite host; the undersurface of the leaves is mainly attacked, but frond stalks, flower clusters and young fruit can also be affected. Older trees (over 4 years) or trees on well-drained soil are seldom seriously infested.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
ActinidiaActinidiaceaeMain
AleuritesEuphorbiaceaeOther
AllamandaApocynaceaeOther
AlpiniaZingiberaceaeOther
AnnonaAnnonaceaeOther
Annona cherimola (cherimoya)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona muricata (soursop)AnnonaceaeOther
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit)MoraceaeOther
BrassicaBrassicaceaeOther
CamelliaTheaceaeOther
Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeOther
Capsicum (peppers)SolanaceaeOther
Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeOther
Cassia (sennas)FabaceaeOther
Ceiba pentandra (kapok)BombacaceaeOther
Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon)LauraceaeOther
CitrusRutaceaeOther
Cocos nucifera (coconut)ArecaceaeMain
Colocasia esculenta (taro)AraceaeOther
Cucumis (melons, cucuimbers, gerkins)CucurbitaceaeOther
Dioscorea (yam)DioscoreaceaeOther
Elaeis guineensis (African oil palm)ArecaceaeMain
Eucalyptus deglupta (kamarere)MyrtaceaeOther
EugeniaMyrtaceaeOther
Euphorbia (spurges)EuphorbiaceaeOther
FicusMoraceaeOther
Ficus carica (fig)MoraceaeOther
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Hibiscus (rosemallows)MalvaceaeOther
Jasminum (jasmine)OleaceaeOther
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeMain
Musa (banana)MusaceaeMain
Myristica fragrans (nutmeg)MyristicaceaeOther
Pandanus (screw-pine)PandanaceaeOther
Passiflora (passionflower)PassifloraceaeOther
Persea americana (avocado)LauraceaeOther
Phoenix (date palm)ArecaceaeOther
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
Physalis (Groundcherry)SolanaceaeOther
Piper (pepper)PiperaceaeOther
Piper betle (betel pepper)PiperaceaeOther
Piper nigrum (black pepper)PiperaceaeOther
Plumeria (frangipani)ApocynaceaeOther
Prunus persica (peach)RosaceaeOther
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeOther
Raphanus (radish)BrassicaceaeOther
Rhizophora (mangrove)RhizophoraceaeOther
Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)PoaceaeOther
Solanum (nightshade)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeOther
Spondias purpurea (red mombin)AnacardiaceaeOther
Syzygium aromaticum (clove)MyrtaceaeOther
Tamarindus indica (Indian tamarind)FabaceaeOther
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)SterculiaceaeOther
Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)FabaceaeOther
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeOther
Xanthosoma sagittifolium (elephant ear)AraceaeOther
Zingiber officinale (ginger)ZingiberaceaeOther

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

Top of page On leaves, A. destructor causes yellow spots to develop beneath the insects, due to the toxicity of saliva injected in to plant tissues while feeding. Entire leaves may turn yellow to brown and fall, and fruits may be discoloured, stunted or fall prematurely. The bright yellow colour of affected coconut palms is clearly visible from a great distance. The undersurface of the leaves is mainly attacked, but frond stalks, flower clusters and young fruit can also be affected. In extreme cases, the leaves dry out, entire fronds drop off and the crown dies.

List of Symptoms/Signs

Top of page

Fruit

  • discoloration
  • external feeding
  • lesions: black or brown

Leaves

  • abnormal colours
  • abnormal leaf fall
  • necrotic areas

Stems

  • external feeding

Biology and Ecology

Top of page A. destructor reproduces sexually. Males locate unmated females by following pheromones released by them. The life cycle of A. destructor typically lasts for 32-34 days. In one study the life cycle was found to be 32 days for females and 27 days for males (Tabibullah and Gabriel, 1973; Taylor, 1935, also did an in-depth study).

Each female deposits 20-50 eggs under her scale cover over a few days. In China on Actinidia, the average number of eggs laid by one female was 32-42 (Zhou et al., 1993). At room temperature (26-28°C), the egg stage lasted for 5 days, the larval stage lasted 17 days, the pre-oviposition stage in adult females lasted 25 days, the female generation lasted 44 days and the male generation lasted 38 days (Zhou et al., 1993). In the Philippines, on coconut, the egg stage lasted for 8 days in both sexes (Tabibullah and Gabriel, 1973). After hatching, the nymphs crawl under the scale edge out into the open and colonize the undersides of leaves and tender shoots. They drop off the leaves easily, so mortality is high during heavy rain.

In China, A. destructor produced three generations annually, with the fertilized females overwintering on the stems of Actinidia trees (Zhou et al., 1993). In Japan on tea plants, A. destructor had only one generation per year (Murakami, 1970). However, in tropical conditions in Trinidad reproduction is continuous (Goberdhan, 1962).

The dispersal phase of A. destructor is the first instar, or crawler, which has legs. Crawlers can walk up to perhaps 1 m, but can be distributed across much greater distances by wind, flying insects and birds and transport of infested plant material by man.

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aleurodothrips fasciapennis Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs Fiji Cocos nucifera
Anicetus communis Parasite Australia ornamental plants
Aphytis chrysomphali Parasite Adults/Nymphs Fiji Cocos nucifera
Aphytis lingnanensis Parasite Adults/Nymphs India; Karnataka; Kerala Citrus; Dodonaea viscosa
Aphytis melinus Parasite Adults/Nymphs
Azya orbigera Predator Adults/Nymphs Grenada Cocos nucifera
Brumoides suturalis Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus cacti Predator Adults/Nymphs Dominican Republic Cocos nucifera
Chilocorus circumdatus Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus dohrni Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs
Chilocorus kuwanae Predator Adults/Nymphs
Chilocorus nigrita Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs Oman Cocos nucifera
Chilocorus politus Predator Adults/Nymphs Mauritius Cocos nucifera
Chilocorus schioedtei Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs
Cladis nitidula Predator Adults/Nymphs St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocos nucifera
Coccidophilus cariba Predator Adults/Nymphs Cayman Islands Cocos nucifera
Comperiella bifasciata Parasite Adults Guam Cocos nucifera
Comperiella unifasciata Parasite Adults Fiji; Mauritius Cocos nucifera
Cryptognatha flaviceps Predator Adults/Nymphs St Lucia Cocos nucifera
Cryptognatha nodiceps Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs Angola; Bahamas; Cayman Islands; Dominican Republic; Fiji; Florida; French Polynesia; Grenada; Guam; Hawaii; Jamaica; Pakistan; Puerto Rico; Saipan; Sao Tome and Principe; St Kitts Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Vanuatu bananas; Cocos nucifera; oil palms; ornamental plants; tobacco
Cryptognatha simillima Predator Adults/Nymphs Puerto Rico; St Lucia Cocos nucifera
Cryptognatha simillima trinitatis Predator Adults/Nymphs Fiji Cocos nucifera
Cryptogonus orbiculus Predator Adults/Nymphs Caroline Islands; Guam Cocos nucifera
Curinus coeruleus Predator Adults/Nymphs St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocos nucifera
Cybocephalus gibbulus Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae
Egius platycephalus Predator Adults/Nymphs Trinidad Cocos nucifera
Encarsia citrina Parasite Adults/Nymphs Bali; Fiji Cocos nucifera
Encarsia lounsburyi Parasite
Lioscymnus diversipes Predator Adults/Nymphs St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocos nucifera
Lotis neglecta Predator Adults/Nymphs St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocos nucifera
Lotis nigerrima Predator Adults/Nymphs St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocos nucifera
Pentilia castanea Predator Adults/Nymphs Dominican Republic; Puerto Rico Cocos nucifera
Pentilia egena Predator Adults/Nymphs St Lucia Cocos nucifera
Pentilia insidiosa Predator Adults/Nymphs Fiji Cocos nucifera
Pharoscymnus c-luteum Predator Adults/Nymphs Oman Cocos nucifera
Pharoscymnus horni Predator
Pharoscymnus taoi Predator Adults/Nymphs
Pseudoazya trinitatis Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs Angola; Bahamas; Fiji; Florida; French Polynesia; Grenada; Jamaica; Pakistan; Puerto Rico; Saipan; St Lucia; Vanuatu Cocos nucifera; ornamental plants
Pseudoscymnus anomalus Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs American Samoa; Hawaii; Rota; Saipan; Vanuatu Cocos nucifera
Pseudoscymnus dwipakalpa Predator Adults/Nymphs
Pteroptrix parvipennis Parasite Adults/Nymphs Fiji Cocos nucifera
Rhyzobius lophanthae Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae/Nymphs/Pupae Guam; Republic of Georgia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad Cocos nucifera
Rhyzobius pulchellus Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs Fiji; Grenada; Montserrat; St Lucia Cocos nucifera
Rhyzobius satelles Predator Adults/Eggs/Nymphs American Samoa; Caroline Islands; Saipan; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna Cocos nucifera
Rodolia rubea Predator Adults/Nymphs
Scymnus cadapani Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae Philippines
Scymnus gabrieli Predator Adults/Nymphs Philippines
Scymnus luteus Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae
Scymnus severini Predator Adults/Nymphs
Signiphora borinquensis Parasite
Spaniopterus crucifer Parasite Fiji; Mauritius Cocos nucifera
Sukunahikona prapawan Predator Adults/Nymphs
Telsimia nitida Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae American Samoa; Ponape; St Vincent and the Grenadines Cocos nucifera
Telsimia sanchezi Predator Adults/Eggs/Larvae Philippines Cocos nucifera
Thomsonisca pakistanensis Parasite
Zagloba aeneipennis Predator Adults/Nymphs Fiji; Puerto Rico Cocos nucifera
Zaomma lambinus Parasite Adults Mauritius Cocos nucifera

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Predators play a significant part in limiting A. destructor populations. The most common are the coccinellid beetles Chilocorus spp., Azya trinitatis, Cryptognatha nodiceps, Rhyzobius lophanthae and Pentilia castanea. Parasites of local significance include Comperiella, Aphytis and Encarsia. A number of parasitoids and predators of A. destructor are described by Rosen (1990).

The parasitoids of A. destructor in India are described by Tandon and Srivastava (1980) and those in Pakistan by Rafiq Ahmad and Ghani (1972). Natural enemies of A. destructor have been described from Sri Lanka (Sinnathamby, 1980), China (Zhou et al., 1993) and Taiwan (Wu and Tao, 1976).

Gordon (1978) describes coccinellid predators from the West Indies. Mariau and Julia (1977) report that predation by coccinellids was usually sufficient to maintain scale populations below the economic level in coconuts in Ivory Coast. The coccinellid Cryptognatha nodiceps is a particularly effective predator (Rosen, 1990).

Natural enemies of other scale insects may adapt to feeding on A. destructor as it colonizes new areas. However, continuous unchecked attacks of A. destructor were recorded on coconuts in Fiji, Mauritius and New Hebrides, until natural enemies were introduced.

Narendra and Rao (1974) describe an entomogenous fungus attacking A. destructor in India. Evans and Prior (1990) list fungal pathogens of A. destructor.

Impact

Top of page A. destructor is potentially the most destructive pest species on coconut, wherever it occurs in the world (Chua and Wood, 1990); the undersurface of the leaves is mainly attacked, but frond stalks, flower clusters and young fruit can also be affected. In extreme cases, the leaves dry up, entire fronds drop off, the crown dies and the whole crop is lost. Neglected coconut plantations are particularly susceptible to damage by A. destructor. A. destructor is also an important economic pest of mango in Asia, Africa, the Philippines, India and Brazil; and of banana in Asia, the Pacific Islands, West Indies, Africa, Madagascar and South America. It attacks the leaves and fruits of oil palms, reducing the quality of the fruits (Chua and Wood, 1990). The species is also a pest of bananas worldwide (Chua and Wood, 1990). However, natural controls appear to keep A. destructor in check in most regions, and few major outbreaks have been recorded in recent years.

Before the introduction of successful biological control in 1955, copra production in Principe fell from 1400 to 500 tons per year owing to an invasion of A. destructor (Rosen, 1990a). After a heavy attack by A. destructor on coconuts in Côte d'Ivoire, yield was reduced by at least 25% over the next 2-3 years, although some heavily infested trees were able to catch up production in the 2 years after elimination of the infestation (Mariau and Julia, 1977).

A. destructor is a cosmetic pest on a wide range of fruits, causing blemishes and other marks that reduce quality. On mango, A. destructor prefers grafted varieties; its economic impact is caused by feeding on tender shoots in nursery plants and because it adversely affects fruit setting in older plants. On oil palm, A. destructor is found feeding on leaves and fruit. It occasionally causes severe damage to guava in India (Hayes, 1970).

This species is highly polyphagous and therefore can easily be re-introduced, even if it is successfully controlled on the primary host crop.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page Aspidiotus excisus looks very similar to A. destructor in life but can be distinguished when slide-mounted adult females are examined microscopically; the median lobes on the pygidium of A. excisus are recessed into the margin, whereas in A. destructor they are not recessed (Williams and Watson, 1988).

Prevention and Control

Top of page Introduction

A. destructor is highly polyphagous and therefore can easily be re-introduced, even if it is successfully controlled on the primary host crop.

Host-Plant Resistance

Differences in size and mortality rates were observed on different coconut cultivars by Tabibullah and Gabriel (1973).

Chemical Control

Chemical control may be difficult owing to the height of the trees and may not be commercially viable in some cases owing to the cost. Chemical control may be necessary in the dry season. Malathion has been used successfully. However, insecticide sprays may also kill natural enemies and affect biological control.

Jalaluddin and Mohanasundaram (1991) describe effective chemical treatment for A. destructor in coconut nurseries in India. Zhou et al. (1993) describe the effective chemical control of the larval stages of A. destructor in China. Mariau and Julia (1977) describe the effective chemical control of A. destructor on young coconuts on the Ivory Coast.

Cultural Control

During the early stages of an outbreak of A. destructor on coconut, cutting and burning the affected fronds may be effective.

Phytosanitary Measures

Dharmaraju and Laird (1984) describe the transport of A. destructor around Oceania, mainly through human agency. They emphasize the importance of rigid quarantine procedures.

Biological Control

The most successful biological control of A. destructor has been achieved using predators rather than parasitoids (Rosen, 1990).

An early example of biological control was the introduction of Cryptognatha nodiceps from Trinidad into Fiji in 1928, which stemmed devastating losses in the coconut/copra industry. During 1955, C. nodiceps was introduced into Principe and again almost complete control was obtained and massive economic losses in the copra industry were eliminated (Rosen, 1990). C. nodiceps has since been introduced to a number of oceanic islands; however, it was less successful in the New Hebrides, where Rhyzobius pulchellus, introduced from New Caledonia, was more effective (Rosen, 1990).

Biological control programmes have been described in the Federated States of Micronesia (Suta and Esguerra, 1993), American Samoa (Tauili' ili and Vargo, 1993) and New Hebrides (Chazeau, 1981).

The predatory coccinellid, Chilocorus nigritus, was successfully introduced into Oman from India during 1985 as a biocontrol agent against A. destructor (Kinawy, 1991). Sadakathulla (1993) has developed a technique for the mass production of Chilocorus nigritus.

Rhyzobius lophanthae effectively controlled A. destructor in tea plantations in the Republic of Georgia (Gaprindashvili, 1975).

In Taiwan, the natural enemies of A. destructor were so effective in areas with a rich flora that no chemical control measures were required (Wu and Tao, 1976).

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