Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March of the Red Palm Mite

The "Biggest mite explosion ever observed in the Americas", the invasion of this palm mite has move rapidly across the Caribbean and is now present in Florida.

Its impact has been mostly a decline in health and appearance in general palm species. Some very significant loss in coconut production is reported. Banana although not a palm, also seems to be affected.

Raoiella indica (Prostigmata: Tenuipalpidae): The Red Palm Mite: A Potential Invasive Pest of Palms and Bananas and Other Tropical Crops of Florida.

Detection & Identification of the Red Palm Mite -


  1. I dont think so many invasive/pathogenic species distributed across ecosystems is such a good idea. I wonder if there is a point that things like adaption, zoonosis, and recombination trump the evolutionary specialization in regionally adapted autotrophs and heterotrophs so rapidly it nearly collapses the whole system or plunges it into a toxic soup of heavily declining young organisms.

  2. Here's another similar story.

    Two generations of beetles in one summer greatly increases the army that attacks trees. "It’s not twice as many beetles, it’s an exponential increase," Dr. Mitton said. Each beetle lays 60 eggs and, since nearly all survive, each of those beetles goes on to lay 60 eggs in the same summer, which means 3,600 more beetles.