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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Raoiella indica (Red Palm Mite)
Adult Raoiella indica & Chlorosis and necrosis observed on the coconut fronds
General information
Raoiella indica is reported in many of the countries in the Southeast Asia region. It is considered to be a major pest in India and Sri Lanka.

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.

  • Localized yellowing which subsequently form chlorotic patches.
  • Lower leaflets turn yellow and eventually necrosis sets in.
  • In the Caribbean, the flowers are reported to stop growing and small nuts are formed once the leaflets starts yellowing
Detection and Inspection

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 [5]. 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 [6].

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 [4].

Taxonomic information
Category - Mite
Genus - Raoiella
Species - indica
Common Name - Red Palm Mite
Scientific Name - Raoiella indica
The red palm mite, Raoiella indica, was first reported on coconut in India in 1924 [1]. The pest was later reported in some African countries (Egypt, Sudan, Mauritius) and in Saudi Arabia before its introduction to the Caribbean islands. According to [1], Raoiella indica is present in the following countries: Benin, Egypt, Mauritius, Namibia, RĂ©union, Guadeloupe and Martinique (France) South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, India, Iran, Pakistan, Philippines, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (Middle East), Sri Lanka, Thailand, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. Virgin Islands, United States, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, and more recently in Indonesia [2].
Prevention and Control
  1. Quarantine
    Restrict movement of infested host plant materials including palm handicraft and cut flowers [1].
  2. Classical biological control (under investigation)
    Introduction of predators: Amblyseius largoensis [7].
  3. IPM programme
    Initial use of chemicals (e.g. spiromesifen, dicofol, acequinocyl, etoxazole, pyridaben, avermectin [11], dimethoate and formothion [12]) to restrain pest population followed by use of biological control is the recommended approach [10].
Plant Parts Affected
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