Population trends of the red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) and associated entomopathogenic fungi in Trinidad, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis and Dominica
2014 - Volume: 54 Issue: 4 pages: 433-442
A survey to determine population trends and entomopathogenic fungi associated with the red palm mite (RPM), Raoiella indica, was conducted in Trinidad, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica. RPM population density was evaluated by sampling a total of ten coconut palms per site in Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and Trinidad (Manzanilla and Icacos). Mites from the four islands were either surface sterilized or left unsterilized before being cultured on Tap Water Agar (TWA). A total of 318 fungal colonies were retrieved. A further 96 mites from Dominica were kept on sterile moist filter paper in a humidity chamber and a further 85 colonies were isolated. Based on morphological observations of all 403 isolates, a sample consisting of 32 colonies (8 %) was sent for identification at CABI-UK. Of the 27 fungi positively identified, 15 isolates belonged to the genera Cladosporium, three to Simplicillium spp., and one to Penicillium. Other fungi genera with limited or no entomopathogenic potential included: Aspergillus, Cochliobolus, Fusarium, Pestalotiopsis and Pithomyces. The results show a potential use of entomopathogenic fungi for population management of the red palm mite in the Caribbean region.
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