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The Banana Weevil


The banana weevil, Cosmopolites sordidus, is recognised as the most serious pest of this crop worldwide. Many researchers have studied its biology and evaluated methods to control the damage and losses it causes in different countries.

The monitoring programs using traps with aggregation pheromone are totally necessary to detect and reduce the presence of the weevil, as to determinate the status of the pest and control the population levels. Several studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of using aggregation pheromone traps.

The banana weevil is especially active at night, and lives between the leaf blades. It rarely flies, preferring to walk and spread infected material.

The rate of oviposition is between one egg a day and one egg a week. The adult specimens (females) lay their eggs between the leaf sheaths or the stem of the plant. The eggs are white, elongated, about 2 mm long. The viscous sap the plant secretes helps to fix and protect them. After a period that goes from 5 to 7 days these eggs will have become white, robust larvae, with a reddish head, which will be fed and opening pathways into the stem, killing roots, limiting the absorption of nutrients and increasing the susceptibility of the plant to different pests and diseases. And in short, reducing the yield of the plantations due to the death or falling over of the plants.

Origin and distribution of the Banana Weevil around the world

CABI, 2018. Cosmopolites sordidus. In: Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

The Banana Weevil is native to Malaysia and Indonesia, but has achieved dispersion and a global presence due to its relocation along with rhizomes and sprouts for planting. It is a significant pest in America and Oceania.