Life table parameters of the red palm mite Raoiella indica (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) at various temperatures and for sexual and asexual reproduction.
The red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst, is a threat to coconut, banana and native Arecaceae and Heliconiaceae in Brazil. This mite originated in the Eastern Hemisphere and was first reported in 2004 in the Americas, where the pest is spreading quickly and causing severe damage to its host plants. The objective of this work was to determine the life-history parameters of R. indica at constant temperatures, estimate its thermal requirements [threshold temperature (Tb) and thermal constant (K)] and also compare its life table parameters between sexual reproduction and parthenogenesis. The life tables were constructed on leaflets of Adonidia merrillii at 15, 20, 24, 27, 30 and 34°C and 65% RH and a 12-h photoperiod. The longevity and the number of laid eggs of non-copulated adult females were evaluated at 27°C. Raoiella indica had complete development, from egg to adult, only at 20, 24, 27 and 30°C. At 15°C, the eggs did not hatch, and at 34°C, the mites survived only until the larval stage. For sexual reproduction, the optimal temperature was 27°C, under which the reproductive parameters were higher. The reproductive parameters for sexual reproduction were higher than those for parthenogenesis. The Tb was 14.79°C, and the thermal constant was 208.33 degree days. The life parameters estimated in this study can be used for modelling and predicting the population growth of R. indica in the field and consequently for improving their management strategies.