IJSRP, Volume 4, Issue 5, May 2014 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Prabheena P. and Ramani N.
Areca palm (Areca catechu L.) of the family Arecaceae is an important commercial crop cultivated in the tropics like the Pacific, Asia and east Africa. Many insect and non insect pests induce serious damage to areca palms in different parts of the world. The Red Palm Mite, Raoiella indica heavily infests palms of nursery stage and young palms and induces damage by sucking sap from the frond leaves of young palms during hot dry weather. This polyphagous species of false spider mite rapidly spreads through the Neotropical region where the mite damages economically and ecologically important plants. The present study is focussed on incidence, distribution pattern and injurious status of R.indica on areca palms. Field sampling was conducted fortnightly for the period of March, 2013 to September, 2013 on areca palms cultivated in two districts viz. Malappuram and Wayanadu of North Kerala, South India. Results of the study revealed significantly high population densities of the mite on areca palms with peak population in March/April. High numbers of the mite could be observed on the bottom frond leaves than the middle and top leaves. The present study also indicated that the distribution pattern of the red palm mite was relatively high in the Thenhipalam region of the Malappuram district when compared to other regions surveyed.