Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
Cocopest - Information portal for major pests and diseases of coconut
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Sexava nubila (Coconut treehopper)
General information
Sexava nubila, and a number of long-horned grasshoppers which belongs to the genera of Sexava are significant pests of coconut. The outbreaks happen in places where overgrown coconut is present. Other than coconuts, the treehoppers also attack sago, acera nuts and Salak
Sexava nubila damages the young leaves, nut and the inflorescence. The leaves are unevenly cut and the fronds are left with only the midribs. This mainly occurs in the older fronds.

The hopper eats the fronds from the edges to the centre. The feeding areas are not even and extensive damage can be observed. Severe infestation on the leaves may eventually kill the palms.

Detection and Inspection
The hopper length is about 50-60mm excluding the antennae, which is longer than its body. Also, the female ovipositor, which looks like a curved blade sword can be observed.
Taxonomic information
Category - Insect
Domain - Eukaryota
Kingdom - Metazoa
Phylum - Arthropoda
Class - Insecta
Genus - Sexava
Species - nubila
Common Name - Coconut treehopper
Scientific Name - Sexava nubila
The pest is recorded from Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Prevention and Control
Natural Enemies
  • Egg parasitioids are considered reliable since most of the Sevaxa eggs are laid in the soil.
  • The parasitoid Stichotrema dallatorreanum is an important natural enemy, the female larvae parasitise sexava species which reduces the eggs laid by female Sexava.
Biological Control
In Indonesia, an entomophatogen, "Metabron" (Metarrhizium isolated from Brontispa) was used to control Sexava spp on coconut. Metabron was applied at the concentration of 5 x 105 conidium/μl and causes approximately 90,25% nymph mortality and 86,25% imago mortality. The biological agent is advantageous as it can be maintained for a long period provided the condition is conducive.

Cultural Control
Apart from ensuring good field sanitation, the following methods can be adopted if it is practical:
  • Placement of sticky bands of gum resin at the base of the palms.
  • Scrape the soil to expose eggs near the palm base.
When the population is low, hand collection can also be conducted.
Plant Parts Affected
Leaves, flower, nut
  1. Michellia Darwis, 2006. Upaya Pengendalian Hama Sexava spp. Secara Terpadu. Perspektif, 5(2):98-110.
  2., 2022. Grahame Jackson. Information from Young GR (2001). A review of sexava research and control methods in Papua New Guinea. In: Proceedings of the sixth workshop for the tropical agricultural entomologists. Technical Bulletin No. 288, 1998.
  3. Victor G. Siahaya, 2014. Coconut Plant Damaged Attack by Sexava nubila and Oryctes rhinoceros in Kairatu Distric, West Seram Regency. Jurnal Budidaya Pertanian, 10(2):93-99.
  4. Bill W. Page, 2005. Sexava pests of oil palm. The Oprative Word. Technical Note 6. January 2005.
  5. Alouw, Jelfina C., Hosang, Meldy L.A., 2016. Sexava nubila (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): Outbreak and Its Damage on Oil palm. Buletin Palma, 17(2):97 – 104. December 2016.
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