Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract Full Text

Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae): a threat for Cuba.


The red palm mite, R. indica, is a serious pest of coconut, date and areca palms in many countries in the tropics of the eastern and western hemispheres. It was described on coconut leaves from India in 1924, being disseminated in several countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Mauritius, Egypt, Sudan, Iran, Oman, Israel, Reunion, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines. This mite was recently reported in the Caribbean region, Martinique, during 2004. It has spread rapidly throughout this region and has been found in Dominica, Guadeloupe, St. Martin, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominican Republic and Jamaica, where it has been observed also affecting other plant species not belonging to Arecaceae family, such as Musa spp. (Musaceae), Heliconia rostrata (Heliconaceae), Alpinia purpurata (Zingiberaceae) and Eucalyptus spp. (Myrtaceae). This review covers the biology, geographical distribution, detection, and management of R. indica, and the degree of damage incurred by this pest on host plants. The incidence of R. indica in Cuba might have serious consequences for coconut, plantain crops and ornamentals. The development of a management strategy to mitigate the possible impact of red palm mite and of a comprehensive public awareness programme for farmers and the public in general is very important.