Coffee mealybugs, Planococcus lilacinus, pose a significant threat to a range of Australian horticultural industries. The coffee mealybug affects 35 known plant host varieties including coffee, tamarinds, custard apples, coconuts, cocoa and citrus. It is important to limit the spread of coffee mealybug from the Torres Strait.
It is also known as:
- oriental cacao mealybug
- lilac mealybug
Round, soft-bodied insects that are brownish red or tan in colour, with clumped segments of pink/purple wax covering their bodies. They:
The newly hatched nymphs are light yellow.
Females complete 3 nymphal stages before maturation, whereas males complete 2 nymphal stages followed by a pre-pupal and pupal stage before maturation.
Coffee mealybugs have been found on Boigu Island in the Torres Strait, they are not yet widely established in Queensland.
Mealybugs are pests of economic importance for a wide range of hosts (see hosts listed above). They can cause severe damage to crops, making the crop not suitable for market.
If you see plants showing symptoms of coffee mealybug, report it to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23.
To prevent the spread of coffee mealybugs, you should:
Biosecurity Queensland and the Australian Government's Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) have strict regulations in place to prevent the movement of risk materials between, and out of, their respective quarantine zones in the Torres Strait and on the Queensland mainland.