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Dispersal of Acalitus essigi to blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.) fruit
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-16, 12:50 authored by Davies, JT, Geoff AllenGeoff Allen, Williams, MA
The eriophyoid mite, Acalitus essigi (Hassan), is hypothesised to be responsible for redberry disease of blackberry (Rubus fruticosus L. agg.) fruit. Infested fruit ripen unevenly with affected drupelets becoming hard, inedible and bright red, whereas unaffected drupelets ripen evenly. As a first step toward possible control of this disease, the method and timing of dispersal of A. essigi onto developing blackberry fruit was examined. No mites were found on unopened flower buds or open flowers. However, infestation of fruit was found to commence during the green stage of fruit development and significantly increase during the red fruit stage. Although redberry symptoms were not observed, experimental exclusion of A. essigi to prevent the mite moving up the pedicel of open flowers by a sticky barrier significantly reduced A. essigi populations within the resultant fruit by over five fold that of control fruit. Although very low levels of aerial dispersal onto fruit cannot be discounted it was concluded that non-aerial or crawling dispersal via the fruit pedicel was the dominant method of blackberry fruit infestation.
Publication titleEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Department/SchoolTasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)
PublisherKluwer Academic Publishers
Place of publicationNetherlands