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Palm borer

As the name of the palm borer Paysandisia archon indicates, this species causes important damage to palm trees. Although the palm borer originates in South America, it has recently finds its way to Southern Europe. Are you ready to tackle this pest with biological control?

What damage can the palm borer cause?

  • The adult palm borer itself as well as the feeding damage caused by the larvae are easy to recognize.
  • In the crown and on the stem sawdust can be spotted.
  • The leaves show perforations as they are chewed on.
  • Inside the stem, the palm borer makes galleries.
  • The leaf buds develop abnormally and the stems are turned.
  • Affected palm trees dry out and wilt.

How to control the palm borer?

For biological control of the palm borer, you can rely on Palma-Life.

What are the characteristics of the palm borer?

  • The eggs of 5 mm are elongated and rose-brown.
  • Adult larvae are 9 cm long rose-white grubs with a brown head shield. Before the larvae pupate, they make an elongated cocoon of 6 cm out of palm tree fibres.
  • Pupae are reddish-brown and measure about 5 cm.
  • Adults have a wingspan of about the size of a human hand and have greenish brown forewings with brown stripes. The hindwings are orange-red with a bold and black horizontal stripe and 6 white spots.
  • Females have a conspicuous ovipositor.

What about the palm borer’s life cycle?

  • Females lay about 140 eggs on palm fibers near the crown.
  • The larvae hatch after 2 to 3 weeks. As they are searching for food and shelter, they bore into the trunk.
  • The pre-pupa stage takes about 2.5 weeks. In this period, they make a cocoon.
  • The pupal stage lasts for 1.5 to 2.5 months depending on the period they start to make a cocoon. This can be half July and half March respectively.
  • Palm borers hibernate as larvae and may hibernate twice. Therefore, the larval stage has a one-year cycle or a two-year cycle.
  • In case of a one-year cycle, the total life cycle takes about 13 months and a two-year cycle can take up to 23 months.
  • Palm borer moths are active during the summer.

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