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Population Dynamics of the Coconut Mite Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae) and Associated Arthropods in Tamil Nadu, India

  • M. K. Varadarajan
  • P. M. M. DavidEmail author
Research Article

Abstract

The population dynamics of the coconut mite, Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae) infesting the coconut fruits was studied during September 1999–May 2000 in Tamil Nadu, India where the mite is a new pest. The densities of active mites and eggs were not significantly correlated with weather factors. Mites were more abundant on the post-fertilisation bunch 3 drupes (fruits) (6.0 mites/7 mm2) than on the other drupes. They were most crowded on the fourth (outer to inner) tepal (bract) of the bunch 3 perianth (2.6 mites/7 mm2). No significant difference was evident between populations of A. guerreronis from the drupe and tepal surfaces. However, eggs were more numerous on the tepal surface (4.9 eggs /tepal) than on the drupe surface (2.5 eggs /drupe). Egg density was highest on bunch 5 drupes (8.6 eggs/tepal) than on the drupes of other bunches. The inner tepals (4–6) carried more eggs (4.6–5.6/tepal) than the outer (1–3) ones (1.2–3.8/tepal). Mite population declined by 62.6 % when the tepal area decreased by 24.3 % due to mealybug (Pseudococcus cocotis Mask.) infestation which caused the tepals to deform. The predatory mites Amblyseius sp. and mealybugs were most abundant on tepals 5 and 6 (2.5–2.6 predatory mites; 4.6–4.7 mealybugs/tepal). Eggs of A. guerreronis could be stored in the freezer at 3.9 ± 0.3 °C for one month although hatchability decreased from 98 % one day after storage to 54.7 % one month after storage. Loss of the eriophyid mites from sample drupes after five days was minimal (54.7 %) when the drupes were stored in a thermocool box containing ice at 23.7 ± 0.4 °C. Most mites (75.8 %) died when the drupes were stored in the open at room temperature (35.3 ± 0.9 °C).

Key Words

coconut mite Aceria guerreronis population dynamics associated arthropods 

Résumé

La dynamique des populations de l’acarien, Aceria guerreronis Keifer (Acari: Eriophyidae) nouveau ravageur de la noix de coco, a été étudiée de septembre 1999 à mai 2000 à Tamil Nadu en Inde. Les densités des formes actives et des oeufs ne sont pas significativement corrélées avec les facteurs climatiques. Les acariens sont plus abondants sur les grappes portant 3 fruits ( 6,0 acariens/7 mm2) que sur les autres grappes. Ils sont plus nombreux sur la quatrième bractée de la fleur (2,6 acariens/7 mm2). Aucune différence significative n’a pu être établie entre les populations d’A. guerreronis infestant la surface du fruit et celle de la fleur. Cependant, les oeufs sont plus nombreux à la surface de la fleur (4,9 oeufs/fleur) qu’à la surface des fruits (2,5 oeufs/fruit). Les densités d’oeufs sont plus élevées sur les grappes avec 5 fruits (8,6 oeufs/bractée) que sur les autres grappes. Les bractées internes (4–6) portent plus d’oeufs (4,6–5,6 oeufs/bractée ) que les bractées externes (1–3) (1,2–2,6 oeufs/bractée). Une réduction de la surface de la bractée de 24,3 % provoquée par la cochenille (Pseudococcus cocotis Mask.) entraîne une diminution de la population d’acariens de 62,6%. Les acariens prédateurs Amblyseius sp. et les cochenilles sont plus abondants sur les bractées 5 et 6 (2,5–2,6 acariens; 4,6–4,7 cochenilles/bractée). Les oeufs d’A. guerreronis peuvent être conservés au réfrigérateur à 3,9 ± 0,3 °C pendant 1 mois bien que l’éclosion passe de 98 % un jour après stockage à 54,7 % après un mois de stockage. Cinq jours après récolte, la mortalité des acariens est minimale (54,7%) quand les fruits sont conservés dans une glacière à 23,7 ± 0,4°C. La plupart des acariens (75,8%) meurent quand les fruits sont conservés à température ambiante (35,3 ± 0,9 °C).

Mots Clés

acarien coco Aceria guerreronis dynamique des populations 

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Copyright information

© ICIPE 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EntomologyAgricultural College and Research Institute KillikulamVallanadIndia

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