About this website

This website focuses on the chrysomelid pests of palms, which are the most important beetle family that consumes leaves of palms. Many members of the former subfamily Hispinae, referred to here as hispines, are leaf miners on palms. (Please see ITP's Hispines of the World for more information on the former subfamily Hispinae and why the term "hispine" is used here, as well as how to differentiate hispines from other members of Chrysomelidae.) This website includes fact sheets and images for each of the genera of hispines that are known pests of palms. Both larval and adult hispines may cause damage to palm leaves.

Several hispine palm pests, including Brontispa longissima (Gestro), Octodonta nipae (Maulik), Plesispa reichei Chapuis, Promecotheca cumingii Baly, and Wallaceana dactyliferae (Maulik), have been introduced to new areas via commerce. They are species of concern for many palm growing areas, especially Southeast Asia. Coconut production losses due to Brontispa longissima have been recorded to be as high as 30% to 50% in Vietnam and 50% to 70% in Samoa. Southeast Asia and the Pacific are particularly affected. Infestation has the potential to have a drastic effect on the livelihoods of whole villages; in some localities 90% of the people rely on the coconut for their livelihood. Where the coconut hispine beetle has been left unchecked, coconut processing factories have been shut down, thousands of workers have been let off and farmers have been left without work. Losses of more than $40 million (US) have been reported from Vietnam.

Hispine Pests of Palms is part of the commodity-based A Resource for Pests and Diseases of Cultivated Palms.

Last updated November 2016