Major Pest of Cacao
CACAO POD BORER
Scientific name: Conopomorpha cramerella)
The Conopomorpha cramerella is a species that is endemic to Southeast Asia and western Pacific archipelago (Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia). It is a pest that threatens the cocoa industry and leads to technical difficulties on producing cacao. Furthermore, the cacao fruit production decreases by more than 80% due its damage by attacking the young fruits up to the ripened fruits; this pest is also relatively hard to be controlled.
The matured cacao pod borer is a small nocturnal moth with a length of about 7mm, you can easily distinguish it by its long antennae that folds back above the wing when resting; it is commonly found resting below the cocoa branches during the day. In addition, at dusk, the pregnant females actively seeking out cocoa pods, where they lay their eggs directly on the outer husk. In 3 days’ time, the egg hatches and the larvae emerged trough the bottom of the egg and burrows through the pod epicarp, mesocarp, and endocarp, eventually feeding on the flesh and placenta surrounding the beans. The CPB larvae’s feeding behavior results in sticky and underdeveloped seeds that make the seeds small and stick to each other and to the fruit wall. The larval stage CPB takes 14-18 days to complete 4-6 instars. The larvae then tunnel out through the pod wall, leaving an easily identifiable exit hole, to pupate. The moths emerge from the pupae and are most active at night; at this time, mating and egg-laying takes place. Given the right conditions, a female will usually produce up to 200 eggs in her lifespan. In general, adult lifespan is around one week, but they can live for up to 30 days.