Annona spp.  Pests
Back To
Cherimoya
Soursop
Sugar Apple
Atemoya
Custard Apple
Ilama
Biriba

Annona seed borer
Fig. 1 magnifying glass
Annona seed borer

Annona fruits with symptoms of seed borer infestation
Fig. 2 magnifying glass
Annona fruits with symptoms of seed borer infestation

Cocytius antaeus adult
Fig. 3 magnifying glass
Cocytius antaeus adult

soft scale (Philephedra tuberculosa) Nakahara & Gill, 1985
Fig. 4
Soft scale (Philephedra tuberculosa) Nakahara & Gill, 1985

Philephedra tuberculosa infesting atemoya
Fig. 5 magnifying glass
Philephedra tuberculosa infesting atemoya

Adult male pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green). Notice the two long waxy "tails"
Fig. 14 magnifying glass
Adult male pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green). Notice the two long waxy "tails"

Adult female (arrow) and offspring of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green)
Fig. 15 magnifying glass
Adult female (arrow) and offspring of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green)

Mealybug infestation on soursop
Fig. 16 magnifying glass
Mealybug infestation on soursop

Nymphs (mixed ages) and dark form of wingless adult of melon aphids, Aphis gossypii Glover.
Fig. 20 magnifying glass
Nymphs (mixed ages) and dark form of wingless adult of melon aphids, Aphis gossypii Glover.

Larva of G. nutrix.
Fig. 21 magnifying glass
Larva of G. nutrix

G. nutrix parasitized by a braconid
Fig. 22 magnifying glass
G. nutrix parasitized by a braconid

Mite damage
Fg. 23 magnifying glass
Leaf of soursop infested with Aceria annonae

Adult female false spider mite, Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes).
Fg. 24 magnifying glass
Adult female false spider mite, Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes)

Redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) Eichhoff, 1877
Fig. 25 magnifying glass
Redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) Eichhoff, 1877

Ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus monographus) (Fabricius, 1792)
Fig. 26 magnifying glass
Ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus monographus) (Fabricius, 1792)

Back To
Cherimoya
Soursop
Sugar Apple
Atemoya
Custard Apple
Ilama
Biriba


Two hundred and ninety-six species of arthropods are associated with Annona spp. in the Neotropics. The families most frequently observed are Coccidae (Homoptera), Noctuidae, Oecophoridae (Lepidoptera), and Eurytomidae (Hymenoptera). The most common species in Florida are Bephratelloides cubensis, (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae), Cocytius antaeus (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae), and the papaya scale Philephedra tuberculosa. Larvae of the moths, Gonodonta nutrix and G. unica feed on leaves, but they are heavily parasitized by braconid wasps. 1
Several other species of insects and mites may cause minor losses. In Florida, the foliage feeders most frequently reported on Annona are scales, mealybugs, leafhoppers and whiteflies (Homoptera), lace bugs (Hemiptera), some Lepidoptera and mites. 2



Annona Seed Borer
Bephratilloides cubensis

The Annona seed borer (ASB) is the most important insect pest of atemoya and  sugar apple in Florida. Female ASB lay their eggs into the young seeds of fruits with subsequent larval development inside the fruit and emergence of the adult from the fruit; ruining the fruit in the process. ASB populations increase during the summer and peak during  August-September. Symptoms of insect damage include small black, holes on the fruit surface, and brown to black colored decay of the  fruit. Bagging individual fruit in small paper lunch bags will prevent the ASB from infesting fruit. 1
Bephratelloides spp. develop strictly in Annona seeds. Economic damage occurs when the adults chew their way out of the fruit, creating  a 2 mm diam tunnel that provides entry for other insects and decay organisms. B. cubensis is thelytokous, reproducing  without males. It has approximately 4-5 generations per year. The egg stage lasts 12 to 14 days, the larval stage 6-8 weeks, the pupal stage 12-18 days, and the adult rarely lives beyond 15 days.
No significant native parasitization or predation of Bephratelloides spp. has been reported. In Florida, the fungus Beauveria bassiana was applied to B. cubensis adults under laboratory conditions has provided 90% adult mortality for 8 days after treatment. 2

Please contact your local county agricultural cooperative extension Agent for further control information.

Further Reading
Insect/Mite Management in Annona spp. from the University of Florida pdf 5 pages



Giant Sphinx
Cocytius antaeus

Is a moth of the Sphingidae family. It is found from Brazil through Central America and into the southern parts of Texas and Florida in the United States.
The wingspan is 126–178 mm. Very rare in North America, it is the only insect in the continent with a long enough proboscis to pollinate the similarly rare Ghost Orchid.
The larvae feed on Annona glabra, A. reticulata, A. purpurea, A. holosericea and Rollinia membranacea. 3

Further Reading
Notes on Geographic Distribution from Fundación Amigos Isla del Coco pdf



Soft Scales
Philephedra scale (Fig. 4) attacks mature and immature leaves, leaf petioles, young stems, and fruit.
Most commonly these scales are found on the underside of leaves. Damage from heavy infestations result in loss of tree vigor, leaf browning and drop, and stem dieback. 1
In Florida, the scales, Parasaissetia nigra, Saissetia coffeae, S. oleae and P. tuberculosa cause damage by feeding on sap.
Sudden increases in populations of these insects coincide with plant stress and absence of effective natural enemies. 2

Black scale (Parasaissetia nigra) (Nietner) Hemispherical scale (Saissetia coffeae) (Walker) Black scale (Saissetia oleae) (Olivier)
Fig. 6 magnifying glass Fig. 7 magnifying glass Fig. 8 magnifying glass

Fig. 6. Black scale (Parasaissetia nigra) (Nietner), adults
Fig. 7. Hemispherical scale (Saissetia coffeae) (Walker), adult
Fig. 8. Black scale (S. oleae) (Olivier), adults

Armored Scales
Armored scales are uncommon and include Aspidiotus destructor Signoret, Pseudaulacaspis pentagona (Targioni-Tozetti), Chrysomphalus aonidum (L.), (Morgan), C. dictyospermi, Howardia biclavis (Comstock).

Coconut scale (Aspidiotus destructor) Signoret White peach scale (Pseudaulacaspis pentagona) (Targioni Tozzetti) Florida red scale (Chrysomphalus aonidum) (Linnaeus)
Fig. 9 magnifying glass Fig. 10 magnifying glass Fig. 11 magnifying glass
Dictyospermum scale (Chrysomphalus dictyospermi) (Morgan) Mining scale (Howardia biclavis) (Comstock)
Fig. 12 magnifying glass Fig. 13 magnifying glass

Fig. 9. Coconut scale (A. destructor) Signoret, adults and early instars
Fig. 10. White peach scale (P. pentagona) (Targioni Tozzetti), infestation on cherry
Fig. 11. Florida red scale (C. aonidum) (Linnaeus)
Fig. 12. Dictyospermum scale (C. dictyospermi) (Morgan), adult
Fig. 13. Mining scale (Howardia biclavis) (Comstock), adult

Please contact your local county agricultural cooperative extension Agent for control information.

Further Reading
Philephedra Scale on Glaucous Cassia
from University of Florida Lee County Extension pdf



Mealy bugs

Pseudococcus sp.

Mealy bugs are generally found at the stem-end of the fruit and/or the shady side of the fruit. Mealy bugs are small, white, scale insects with wispy protuberances along their surface. They exude a sticky, sugary substance, which becomes colonized by fungi, giving the fruit surface (and sometimes adjacent leaves) a sooty appearance; referred to as sooty mold. 1
The Pink hibiscus mealybug (Fig. 15), Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), cause severe damage to soursop. Maconellicoccus hirsutus is an extremely polyphagous species. It affects at least 74 plant families, about 144 genera. Some major hosts include mango, hibiscus, palms, coffee, grape, citrus and Annona spp. 2

Please contact your local county agricultural cooperative extension Agent for control information.

Freshly-laid eggs of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), are orange but become pink before they hatch. Two pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), mummies (parasitized mealybugs). Note parasitoid exit hole on the bottom left mummy. The Cryptolaemus larvae are covered with a white flocculent secretion and may be confused with pink hibiscus mealybugs but are important predators and should not be destroyed.
Fig. 17 magnifying glass Fig. 18 magnifying glass Fig. 19 magnifying glass

Fig. 17. Freshly-laid eggs of the pink hibiscus mealybug, M. hirsutus (Green), are orange but become pink before they hatch.
Fig. 18. Two pink hibiscus mealybug, M. hirsutus (Green), mummies (parasitized mealybugs). Note parasitoid exit hole on the bottom left mummy.
Fig. 19. The Cryptolaemus larvae are covered with a white flocculent secretion and may be confused with pink hibiscus mealybugs but are important predators and should not be destroyed.

Further Reading
Pink Hibiscus Mealybug National Pest Alert from the USDA–CSREES Integrated Pest Management Centers in cooperation with National Plant Diagnostic Network, APHIS, National Plant Board and the 1862 Land-Grant Universities pdf
Pink Hibiscus Mealybug from the University of Florida pdf



Aphids

The cotton aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover and the black citrus aphid, Toxoptera aurantii (Boyer de Fosncolombe), infest young leaf shoots.

Melon aphids (A. gossypii Glover) feed on the underside of leaves, or on growing tip of vines, sucking nutrients from the plant. The foliage may become chlorotic and die prematurely. Their feeding also causes a great deal of distortion and leaf curling, hindering photosynthetic capacity of the plant. In addition, they secrete a great deal of honeydew which provides a substrate for growth of sooty mold, so the quality of fruit may be impaired and the photosynthetic capacity of foliage further hindered. 3
   
Melon Aphid or Cotton Aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Insecta: Hemiptera: Aphididae) from the University of Florida pdf



Lepidopterous Leaf Feeders
Gonodonta sp.

In Florida, larvae of the fruit piercing moths, Gonodonta nutrix and G. unica feed on tender leaves. They do not cause significant damage because they are heavily parasitized by a braconid wasp. 2



Mites
Brevipalpus phoenicis

B. phoenicis affects up to 85% of the epidermal surface of unripe soursop fruit. The fruit becomes bronze colored with darker epidermal cracking and lighter striations, resembling rust. The eriophyid Aceria annonae iinfests leaves of soursop and pond apple. There are no records of its economic damage or control. 2

Further Reading
Insect/Mite Management in Annona spp. from the University of Florida pdf 5 pages
Red and Black Flat Mite Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes) from the University of Hawaii, Crop Knowledge Master
Red and Black Flat Mite, A False Spider Mite, Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes) from the University of Florida pdf 4 pages



Ambrosia Beetles

Xyleborus sp.

Ambrosia beetles (Fig. 25,26) occasionally attack limbs and the trunk of sugar apple and atemoya trees. They bore into the bark and outer wood and inoculate the tree with a fungus they subsequently feed on. This boring causes the infested limb or tree to decline rapidly and dieback.

Please contact your local county agricultural cooperative extension Agent for control information. 1



Further Reading
Florida Crop Pest Management in Atemoya and Sugar Apple from the University of Florida pdf 5 pages

Bibliography

1 Crane, Jonathan H., Balerdi, Carlos F. and Maguire, Ian. "Atemoya Growing in the Florida Home Landscape." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is HS64, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date 1980. Revised Nov. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
2 Peña, Jorge E. and Crane, Jonathan H. "Insect/Mite Management in Annona spp." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is ENY-834, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date July 2006. Reviewed Jan. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.
3 Capinera, John L. "Melon Aphid or Cotton Aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover (Insecta: Hemiptera: Aphididae)." edis.ifas.ufl.edu. This document is EENY-173, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date Nov. 2000. Reviewed Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2017.

Photographs

Fig. 1 Annona seed borer. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 2 Annona fruits with symptoms of seed borer infestation. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 2 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 3 Hanrahan, Shawn. Cocytius antaeus adult. 2006. Texas A&M University Insect Collection in College Station, Texas. wikimedia.org. Under  (2.5 Generic), (2.0 Generic) and (1.0 Generic). Web. 2 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 4 Soft scale (Philephedra tuberculosa) Nakahara & Gill, 1985. 2006. United States National Collection of Scale Insects, Photographs Archive, USDA Agricultural Research Service. bugwood.org. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 5 Philephedra tuberculosa infesting atemoya. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 6 Black scale (Parasaissetia nigra) (Nietner). 2004. Central Science Laboratory, Harpenden , British Crown. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 7 Hemispherical scale (Saissetia coffeae) (Walker). 2006. United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs , USDA Agricultural Research Service. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 8 Sonya Broughton. Black scale (Saissetia oleae) (Olivier). 2007. Department of Agriculture & Food Western Australia. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 9 Coconut scale (Aspidiotus destructor) Signoret, adults and early instars. 2006. United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs , USDA Agricultural Research Service. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 10 Eric R. Day. White peach scale (Pseudaulacaspis pentagona) (Targioni Tozzetti). 2010. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 11 Lorraine Graney. Florida red scale (Chrysomphalus aonidum) (Linnaeus). 2020. Bartlett Tree Experts. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 12 Charles Olsen. Dictyospermum scale (Chrysomphalus dictyospermi) (Morgan). 2012. USDA APHIS PPQ. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 13 Mining scale (Howardia biclavis) (Comstock). 2006. United States National Collection of Scale Insects Photographs , USDA Agricultural Research Service. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 14 Johnson, Marshall. Adult male pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green). Notice the two long waxy "tails". N.d. Department of Entomology, University of Hawaii at Manoa. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 15 Meyerdirk, Dale. Adult female (arrow) and offspring of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green). N.d. APHIS. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 16 Pink hibiscus mealybug damage on soursop. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 17 Johnson, Marshall. Freshly-laid eggs of the pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), are orange but become pink before they hatch. N.d. Department of Entomology, University of Hawaii at Manoa. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 18 Johnson, Marshall. Two pink hibiscus mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), mummies (parasitized mealybugs). Note parasitoid exit hole on the bottom left mummy. N.d. Department of Entomology, University of Hawaii at Manoa. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 19 Johnson, Marshall.  The Cryptolaemus larvae are covered with a white flocculent secretion and may be confused with pink hibiscus mealybugs but are important predators and should not be destroyed. N.d. Department of Entomology, University of Hawaii at Manoa. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 20 Castner, J.L. Nymphs (mixed ages) and dark form of wingless adult of melon aphids, Aphis gossypii Glover. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 21 Larva of G. nutrix. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 22 G. nutrix parasitized by a braconid. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 4 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 23 Leaf of soursop infested with Aceria annonae. N.d. University of Florida. edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 24 Erbe, Eric. Adult female false spider mite, Brevipalpus phoenicis (Geijskes). 2003. USDA Agricultural Research Service. bugwood.org. Web. 23 Sept. 2014.
Fig. 25 Derksen, Andrew. Redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) Eichhoff, 1877. 2010. USDA-APHIS. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.
Fig. 26 Jurc, Maja. Ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus monographus) (Fabricius, 1792). 2005. University of Ljubljana. bugwood.org. Web. 18 Jan. 2016.

Published 25 Sept. 2014 LR. Last update 24 Apr. 2017 LR
© 2013 - growables.org
about credits disclaimer sitemap updates