Aspects of migration and colonization of the coconut palm by the coconut mite, Eriophyes guerreronis (Keifer) (Acari: Eriophyidae).
Migration and colonization of the coconut palm by Eriophyes guerreronis [Aceria guerreronis] was studied in St. Lucia in the West Indies. Mites were not found in unfertilized flowers but were present within a few weeks of fertilization. Nuts remained vulnerable to colonization for a number of months, and mites were present on nuts for up to 13 months. Protection of nuts for the first few months after fertilization is of most importance. On the tree, much migration could be due to mites walking in large numbers across nut surfaces, and they could move from one inflorescence to another if the 2 were in contact. Increased nut damage appeared to encourage mite migration.