Prospection for predatory mites to control coconut pest mites in Thailand, with taxonomic descriptions of collected Mesostigmata (Acari).
Coconut is one of the main tropical crops. Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Eriophyidae) and Raoiella indica Hirst (Tenuipalpidae) are the main coconut mite pests in several African, American and Asian countries. Mites are not pests of coconut in Thailand. A survey was conducted in Thailand to determine the coconut mite fauna in search of prospective predators to control A. guerreronis and R. indica in other countries. Twenty-four species were found, including nine Mesostigmata, an order containing effective biological control agents. A few specimens of the mesostigmatid phytoseiids Neoseiulus baraki (Athias-Henriot) and Amblyseius largoensis (Muma), were associated with low populations of Colomerus novahebridensis Keifer (eriophyid occupying the same niche as A. guerreronis) and R. indica, respectively. A new mesostigmatid species, Lasioseius siamensis Silva and Moraes sp. nov. (Blattisociidae), is described. Complementary descriptions of Brontispalaelaps leveri Womersley and Neocypholaelaps ceylonicus Narita and Moraes (both Ameroseiidae), relatively abundant Mesostigmata, are provided based on collected specimens.