The red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) is an Invasive Alien Species (IAS), which was first detected in the Western Hemisphere in the island of Martinique in 2004. It has since spread to Dominica (2005), Dominican Republic (2006), Puerto Rico (2006), Trinidad (2006), St. Vincent (2007), Jamaica (2007), and Grenada (2007). The pest has the potential to quickly spread to new locations by wind currents or human activities. Raoiella indica was first detected in Trinidad in March 2006. Surveillance activities revealed that the pest was rapidly dispersing to new areas. From July-September 2007, a survey was conducted to detect the presence and distribution of red palm mite and native natural enemies in Trinidad. Ten coconut farms were randomly selected from each of the eight counties and two trees were sampled from each farm. In each case, samples were collected from the 3rd and 9th fronds and examined in the laboratory for red palm mite and natural enemies. The data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS), Version 7.5. Red palm mite was present in all counties, but the numbers observed in each county were varied. Nariva/Mayaro and St. Andrew/St. David had significantly (p<0.05) more mites than the other counties. The predominant natural enemy was Amblyseius largoensis (Acari: Phytoseiidae); however, predatory mite populations were low ranging from only nine in theSt. Patrick East samples to 81 in St. George West. Counties with higher populations were those with large coconut farms >20.0 hectares. Because the red palm mite was found to be widespread, surveys should also be conducted in the dry season and long term population dynamics studies should be initiated. Amblyseius largoensis should be reared and mass produced in the laboratory for augmenting field populations,and classical biological control also should be investigated to manage the pest.


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