New mite invasions in citrus in the early years of the 21st century

Autores UPV


Several mite species commonly attack cultivated citrus around the world. Up to 104 phytophagous species have been reported causing damage to leaves, buds and fruits, but only a dozen can be considered major pests requiring control measures. In recent years, several species have expanded their geographical range primarily due to the great increase in trade and travel worldwide, representing a threat to agriculture in many countries. Three spider mite species (Acari: Tetranychidae) have recently invaded the citrus-growing areas in the Mediterranean region and Latin America. The Oriental red mite, Eutetranychus orientalis (Klein), presumably from the Near East, was detected in southern Spain in 2001. The Texas citrus mite, Eutetranychus banksi (McGregor), is widely distributed in North, Central and South America. It was first reported in Europe in 1999 on citrus in Portugal; afterwards the mite invaded the citrus orchards in southern Spain. In Latin America, the Hindustan citrus mite, Schizotetranychus hindustanicus (Hirst), previously known only from citrus and other host plants in India, was reported causing significant damage to citrus leaves and fruits in Zulia, northwest Venezuela, in the late 1990s. Later, this mite species spread to the southeast being detected on lemon trees in the state of Roraima in northern Brazil in 2008. Whereas damage levels, population dynamics and control measures are relatively well know in the case of Oriental red mite and Texas citrus mite, our knowledge of S. hindustanicus is noticeably scant. In the present paper, information on pest status, seasonal trends and natural enemies in invaded areas is provided for these species, together with morphological data useful for identification. Because invasive species may evolve during the invasion process, comparison of behavior, damage and management options between native and invaded areas for these species will be useful for understanding the invader¿s success and their ability to colonize new regions.