Distribution, damage levels and natural enemy fauna of red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst: an invasive pest in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies.
The red palm mite (RPM), Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) is an imperative pest of coconut, date palm, other palm species (infesting over 32 species of palms) and bananas, heliconias, gingers, beans, and durian in diverse parts of the world. It is considered that the pest has serious consequences for the coconut, ornamental palms and banana industries of the Caribbean islands. Damage to coconuts results in 70 per cent yield reduction and possibly job losses leading to a major socio-economic problem for some of the islands. Hence, survey was conducted in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies to determine the status of red palm mite, the extent of damage, the population levels of RPM and its natural enemy's fauna. Comments on the various aspects are presented.