Aceria mangiferae Sayed
Taxonomic placing: Acari, Prostigmata, Eriophyoidea Eriophyidae.
Common name: Mango bud (or gall) mite.
Geographical distribution: Egypt and Israel, South Africa, southern Asia, Florida, Mexico and several Central and South American regions.
Host plants: Mango (Mangifera indica).
Morphology: The body of the adult mango bud mite is whitish, about 0.20 mm in length, cylindrical. The prodorsum bears a pair of backwards-pointing setae set on tubercles with three strong ridges located between them. The featherclaw is six-rayed.
Life cycle: The mango bud mite lives throughout the year within closed adventive buds on the tree trunk and branches, moving into terminal buds duirng periods of population increase. It reproduces by arrhenotoky and its entire cycle (egg to egg) requires 2-3 weeks in summer, twice that much in winter. The pest raises 8 annual generations in Egypt, with distinct spring and autumn peaks.
Symptoms and economic importance: The mango bud mite is considered to be the major pest of mango in Egypt. It lives (sometimes in large numbers, coming to over 20 per bud) in the buds and inflorescences of the host, causing “califlower”-like growths. Mite feeding stunts and malforms the buds, causes leaf drop and arrests plant growth, resulting in twiggy, stubby branches. Young trees are more heavily attacked. Yield can be greatly reduced. The mite usually occurs along with the pathogenic fungus Fusarium mangiferae Britz, Wingfield and Marasas. It is transmitted between trees and probably between tree parts by the mite, which enhances fungal penetration into the host via the feeding wounds.
Cultural control: Pruning of the affected twigs may reduce, but not eliminate, the extent of the damage. Certain varieties, such as Maya, Palmer, Keitt and Kent, seem to be resistant as they sustain only very small mite colonies, whereas Tommy Atkins is more affected.
Chemical control: The application of acaricides may reduce, but not eliminate, the extent of the damage.
Biological control: The phytoseiid predator Amblyseius swirskii Athias-Henriot is commonly associated with the mango bud mite but its effect on the pest is not known.
Abou-Awad, B.A. 1981. Ecological and biological studies on the mango bud mite, Eriophyes mangiferae (Sayed), with descriptions of immature stages (Eriophyoidea: Eriophyidae). Acarologia 22: 145-150.
Gamliel-Atinsky, E., Freeman, S., Sztejnberg, A,. Maymon, M., Ochoa, R., Belausov, E. and, Palevsky, E. 2009. Interaction of the mite Aceria mangiferae with Fusarium mangiferae, the causal agent of mango malformation disease. Phytopathology 99: 152-9.
Peña, J. and Johnson, F. 1998. Insect Management in Mango. Department of Entomology and Nematology Document ENY-413. Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Available at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IG073.
Sternlicht, M. and Goldenberg, S. 1976. Mango eriophyid mites in relation to inflorescence. Phytoparasitica 4: 45-50.
Swirski, E., Wysoki, M. and Izhar, Y. 2002. Subtropical Fruits Pests in Israel. Fruit Board of Israel (in Hebrew with English Summary).
Zaher, M.A. and Osman, A.A. 1970. Population studies on mites associated with mango trees in Egypt. Bull. Societe d’entomologie Egypte 54: 141-148.