Besides coconut (Cocos nucifera), R. indica is present in betel palm (Areca catechu), date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) and hurricane palm (Dictyosperma album). It was also reported in the families Pandanaceae, Musaceae, Fabaceae, Zingiberaceae, Marantaceae, Cycadaceae, Myrtaceae, Heliconiaceae, Zamiaceae, Lamiaceae and Strelitziaceae.
The recommended approach is visual inspection of the pest morphology. The mite colonies (100-300 individuals per colony) can be observed on the underside of the leaves . The mites are red with white exuvial remains. The mites can be inspected on the undersides of the leaves using hand lens and diagnosis can be further confirmed using the dissecting microscope .
R. indica colonies on coconut
To distinguish from other mite species, note that the size of the dorsal setae of R. indica differs from other species from the same genus. R. indica, which belongs to the Tenuipalpidae, can be distinguished from the common red spider mite (Tetranychidae) by a red coloured-flattened body with long dorsal setae containing liquid droplets at the end, and a lack of webbing .