Palmicultor palmarum (Ehrhorn)



Common name

Palm mealybug

Field characters

Body round or broadly oval; somewhat flattened dorsoventally; body red-brown; some specimens covered by thick flocculent mealy wax, others with less dense wax, without bare areas on dorsum; ovisac absent; with from 8 to 14 or 15 lateral wax filaments, posterior filaments longest and broadest, sometimes coalescing, filaments on anterior thorax and head shorter and thinner, posterior pair about 1/8 length of body. Primarily occurring on foliage of host.

Validation characters

Small discoidal pores on derm surrounding hind coxae; more than 3 conical setae in anal lobe cerarii; dorsal multilocular pores at least on thorax; 14 to 16 pairs of cerarii; dorsal setae filamentous, some longer than conical setae in cerarii.


Palmicultor palmarum is similar to P. browni Williams and P. guamensis by having discoidal pores near the hind coxa, dorsal multilocular disk pores, and generally occurring on palms. Palmicultor palmarum differs by having more than 3 conical setae in the anal lobe cerarius and few or no large-sized oral-collar tubular ducts in ventrolateral area of body.

U.S. quarantine notes

This species was intercepted 142 times at U. S. ports-of-entry between 1995 and 2012, with specimens originating from Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Fiji, France, Guam, Haiti, Hawaii, Hong Kong, India, Jamaica, Japan, Marshall Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Thailand, Tortola, The U.S. Virgin Islands and Vietnam. It is commonly taken at U. S. ports-of-entry on coconut; it is occasionally collected on other palms. We also have examined quarantine specimens from Bahamas (Cocos); Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands) (Cocos); Domican Republic (Cocos); Hawaii (Coconut); India (Coconut); Jamaica (Cocos); Kwajalein (Marshall Islands) (Cocos); Mexico (Cocos); The Philippines (Coconut, Phyllostachys); Singapore (Licuala); St. Barthelemy (Vaitchia); Tahiti (Nypa); Tawain (Palmaceae); Vietnam (Cocos); ScaleNet lists the species from the follwoing host families: and . It is recorded from nearly all areas of the world where coconuts are grown except that it is not known from Africa. No species of Palmicultor other than P. browni (Williams) and P. palmarum have been taken in quarantine at U. S. ports-of-entry.

Important references

WilliaWa1988a; WilliaGr1992.

Scalenet catalog and citation list

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  Palmicultor palmarum   Illustration by Douglas Williams

Palmicultor palmarum
Illustration by Douglas Williams

  Palmicultor palmarum  
 Photo by R. J. Gill

Palmicultor palmarum

Photo by R. J. Gill

  Palmicultor palmarum

Palmicultor palmarum