Aceria litchii

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lychee damaged by Aceria litchii (click on image to enlarge it)
Author: Scot Nelson, Hawaii
Source: Flickr
lychee damaged by Aceria litchii (click on image to enlarge it)
Author: Scot Nelson, Hawaii
Source: Flickr

Aceria litchii (Keifer, 1943) - (litchi erinose mite)

This mite is an important pest of lychee trees in southern Asia, the Pacific, Australia and parts of Africa. It has spread to the Americas in the beginning of the 21st century and was first recorded in Brazil in 2008 and in Florida, U.S.A. in 2018. The mite mainly attacks the shoots, causing abnormal development of the leaves and premature defoliation. Flowers and young fruits may also become infested.

The mite damage is associated with the parasitic alga, Cephaleuros virescens, which forms a felt-like cover (erineum) on the attacked leaf surface. The mite lives inside the protective environment of the erineum. It can also survive unsuitable conditions in a dormant state. Certain predatory mites can suppress the population of the pest down to a tolerable level.

For a review see de Castro e Castro et al. (2018).

Vernacular names
• English: litchi erinose mite
• Português: ácaro-da-erinose da lichia