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Rambutan 'ball', lack of natural abscission, Samoa
February 2001. A disorder of rambutan in Samoa: too few developing fruit have dropped from the panicle leaving a tight ball of abolut 20 fruit in a single mass about 15 cm diam.
The first thought was Eriophyid mite damage to the inflorescence as they were developing.
The photo was seen by DPI, Queensland. It was not thought that the cause was related to insects damage. In the experience of DPI, this type of balling or clustering of the fruit normally occurs in only a few panicles. It may be because of natural fruit abscission. The main disadvantage is that later on, as the fruits develops, they become a favourable habitat for Yellow peace moth and other caterpillars, mealybugs, ants, thrips, mites, etc.
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