Limacodidae, Maldives Minimize

January 2006. A new problem has occurred on coconut in Maldives. Palm leaves are being severely attacked by this caterpillar. They eat the whole palm leaf, destroying the palm. It is serious as a major part of the island is attacked and th problem is spreading fast. We have sprayed Eliminator with the help of a spraying machine. After 3 days of spraying, there was not much improvement.

Our additional problem is that if we use chemicals on trees where we have released the bioagents for Brontispa, it means we re going to kill them. There are approximately150 to 200 trees affected and in a
serious condition. This caterpillar is attacking mostly at night.

One member suggested it was a Nettle caterpillar, Setoria nitens (or a related species); however, another disagreed, althugh it might belong to the Limacodidae.