Industry Strategic Science and Technology Plans (ISPs) Platform

Biological Control of Coconut Scale Insects (CSI)

Aspidiotus rigidus, an invasive pest commonly known as coconut scale insect (CSI) reached devastating outbreak levels in different areas in the Philippines, which is still a threat in other coconut areas in the Philippines as shown by the Species Distribution Model with high predictive power. Nevertheless, a native parasitoid Comperiella calauanica, first described in the Philippines, played a major role in the subsequent recovery of coconut plantations and stands in outbreak areas. Thorough field assessment revealed high specificity of C. calauanica on CSI and exhibits host density-dependent parasitism, a characteristic of an effective biological control agent. Natural parasitization and augmentative release of C. calauanica in CALABARZON and recent invasion in Romblon, Bicol, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Basilan lifted the pest status of CSI to non-outbreak level and just remained a minor pest. Mass rearing technology of C. calauainica is available and disseminated to respond to new areas of invasion of CSI.