October 2003. A question was asked by a member in south India about the control measures for the eriophyid mite, Aceria (Eriophyes) guerreronis, as this mite is devastating coconut plantations there.
Answers from members were not encouraging: the only way is to grow resistant coconut varieties. Attempts at its control have been tried using various systemic acaricides and also the parasitic fungus, Hirsutella thompsoni, but they proved unsuccessful. For more information on resistant coconut varieties see: Dominique Mariau (1997) Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Perennial Crops. pp. 144-146. CIRAD, France (ISBN 2-87614-325-9).
This book is on line at: www.ecoport.org/EP.exe$EAPage
In that chapter it says: …….. for instance, West African Tall is very sensitive, whereas Malaysian Tall is very tolerant. The hybrid PB 121 (West African Tall x Malayan Yellow Dwarf) is less sensitive than its
Notice that the words used are “tolerant” and ” sensitive”. Whichever word is used it is noticeable that varieties with larger, more spherical fruit show less mite damage than those with smaller, more angular fruit. Is it a coincidence that severe mite attacks have not (yet) been reported from Thailand and Malaysia, where the common varieties have large spherical fruit?
For south India the local varieties with that sort of fruit might be the “Kappadam” or the “Andmand Giant” and introduced varieties the “San Ramon” and the “FMS”.