Cookies on Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.

Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Plantwise Knowledge Bank
  • Knowledge Bank home
  • Change location
Plantwise Technical Factsheet

Antestia (Antestiopsis orbitalis)

Host plants / species affected
Coffea (coffee)
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)
List of symptoms/signs
Fruit  -  discoloration
Fruit  -  lesions: on pods
Fruit  -  malformed skin
Fruit  -  mummification
Fruit  -  premature drop
Stems  -  fasciation
Stems  -  mould growth on lesion
Stems  -  stunting or rosetting
Stems  -  witches broom
Description according to Foucart and Brion (1959).


Generally subglobose.

Head (dorsal face): vertex and temples are uniformly black or brownish-black, except for two milky white spots on the sides and a central spot lengthened longitudinally. Eyes black or reddish-black with a milky white border. Occipital lobe uniformly black. Tegument is finely punctate.

Head (ventral face): labrum is clear green. Two small black spots are visible at the base of the head, extending towards the insertion point of the antennae which is reddish-orange.

Antennae: mainly orange-red except for a small, brownish diffuse ring at the apex. Blackish elsewhere.

Pronotum: anterior edge white. Anterior side edges are yellow-orange anteriorly, black posteriorly; side edge smooth. The furrow is yellow anteriorly with black punctuations posteriorly. In the median area, a more or less pentagonal, yellow spot is present, sometimes with reddish-brown punctuations. Four longitudinal white spots are clearly visible.

Scutellum: black or reddish black with a punctate integument.

Hemelytra: basically black, sometimes slightly purplish.

Legs: greenish, with the apex of the femurs and the extreme base of the tibiae orange-yellow .

Abdomen (ventral face): basically white or greenish white, sometimes marked with diffuse yellowish spots.

Segments II to IV are reddish, punctuated with dark-brown marks. They form a rhombus crossed by a diagonal of the base colour. A third, redder spot is clearer laterally on segments II to V.

Dimensions: male length 7.35 mm; width 4.85 mm. Female length 8.30 mm; width 5.35 mm.


1st larval stage: 1.3-1.6 mm. Round. The first two abdominal segments are white, the others are of darker colouring.

2nd larval stage: 1.9-2.4 mm. Similar to the first except larger. The rostrum reaches the medium of the third abdominal segment.

3rd larval stage: 2.6-3.2 mm. Head is released. The pronotum extends gradually towards the back in its median part.

4th larval stage: 3.5-4.4 mm. The outlines of the hemelytra reach the posterior edge of the scutellum. The outlines of the wing and scutellum appear.

5th larval stage: 6.7-7.2 mm. The head is fully disengaged from the thorax.

Legs: the coxa and femurs are brownish-white except for the apex which is orange. The apex of the tibiae is also orange. On the external face of the tibiae two dark-brown sides are visible. On the internal face, the tibiae are a clear brown.

Abdomen: The first segment is yellowish-white, the second is yellow-orange, with a lateral black and white feature. The external edges of the third segment are white, with a black spot. The remainder of the segment is orange, except for a matt black band, under the glands along the posterior edge. On the fourth segment, the sides are bordered white with a black spot, followed by an orange-yellow region then a matt, diffuse black region which is confluent towards the glands. The fifth segment has a white border with a prolonged yellow spot along the posterior edge.


The egg is barrel-shaped and 1.14 x 0.92 mm, dull white or greenish-white. Laid in ooplaques of 10-12 eggs.
Prevention and control

Fenthion, fenitrothion, deltamethrin, esfenvalerate, lambda-cyhalothrin and chlorpyrifos-methyl + cypermethrin have all been used to control A. orbitalis (Bouyjou et al., 1999).

Economic losses can occur as follows:

Losses due to the shedding of the young fruits. These losses are difficult to quantify.

Losses due to the occurrence of the fungus Nematospora spp. (Endomycetales) in the fruit following Antestiopsis wounding.

Losses due to infested beans which are the most significant. The percentage of infested beans is very variable, from 10 to 32% or more without treatment.

Moreover, in the great lakes area of East Africa, arabica coffee can develop an undesirable taste known as 'peasy', 'goût de pomme de terre (GPDT)' or 'erbsig'. This reduces the quality of the commercial coffee. The taste is due to a bacterium belonging to the family of Enterobacteriaceae which has not yet been fully identified. Studies carried out in Burundi by Bouyjou et al. (1999) showed a link between the number of beans affected by the bug and the percentage of cups with the 'peasy taste'. This work showed that protection against A. orbitalis made it possible to obtain a significant reduction in infested beans as well as a lower rate of tainted cups.

Related treatment support
Pest Management Decision Guides
Rutikanga, A.; Mugambi, S.; Muhigirwa, J. C.; CABI, 2013, English language
Zoomed image