Conopomorpha cramerella (Snellen, 1904)
Cocoa Pod Borer
(also known as Acrocercops cramerella)
GRACILLARIINAE ,   GRACILLARIIDAE ,   GRACILLARIOIDEA
 
Don Herbison-Evans
(donherbisonevans@outlook.com)
and
Stella Crossley


(Picture : courtesy of Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Ohio State University, USA)

These Caterpillars are a pest in tropical countries, because the female adult moths lay their eggs on the unripe fruit of :

  • Nam-nam ( Cynometra cauliflora, FABACEAE ),
  • Lychee ( Litchi chinensis, SAPINDACEAE ),
  • Rambutan ( Nephelium lappaceum, SAPINDACEAE ),
  • Kola ( Sterculia acuminata, STERCULIACEAE ), and
  • Cocoa ( Theobroma cacao, STERCULIACEAE ).

    The caterpillars tunnel into the center of the fruit, where they feed on the seeds for about two to three weeks. They chew their way out to pupate.

    This species has been found in :

  • India,
  • Indonesia,
  • Malaysia,
  • New Guinea,

    as well as in

  • Australia.

    Control of the pest hmay be attempted by:

  • burning fallen leaves which can contain the cocoons (Morton, J.),
  • sleeving the young pods with plastic bag (Bakar, S. et al),
  • frequent harvesting (Depparaba, F.),
  • insecticides (Sahoo, A.K. et al),
  • breeding fruit varieties with hard skins (Day, R.K.),
  • pheromone trapping (Maisin, N.),
  • the fungus Beauveria bassiana (Posada, F. & Vega, F.E.)
  • using toxins from the Bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis,
  • the Black Cocoa Ant ( Dolichoderus thoracicus , FORMICIDAE ), and
  • the parasitoid wasp Trichogrammatoidea bactrae fumata ( TRICHOGRAMMATIDAE ) (Alias A. & Lee, M.T.).

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    (updated 31 January 2005, 27 November 2014)