Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Banana leaf speckle (308)

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  • Worldwide distribution. Several fungi involved. Minor diseases.
  • Small spots or streaks at first, later joining together forming light brown, diffuse, irregular patches up to 5 cm diameter on the leaves, and fruit and fruit stalks; usually more obvious on undersurfaces. Reddish-brown to black spots on fruits, with more at the flower end.
  • Spores formed on underside of leaves and spread by wind and rain.
  • Cultural control: remove dead leaves from plantation; remove shade and weeds; desucker plants to aid air movement and drying of leaves; promote healthy growth with fertilizer and/or manures; mulch, but not with old banana leaves.
  • Chemical control: unlikely to be needed. Fungicides for banana black Sigatoka likely to control this disease (see Fact Sheet no. 02).
Common Name

Banana speckle, banana leaf speckle, tropical speckle, common speckle. Note, a disease known as 'fruit speckle' also exists.

Scientific Name

Metulocladosporiella musae (previous names are Cladosporium musae, and Periconiella sapientumicola), Ramichloridium biverticillatum (Periconiella musae), Ramichloridium musae (Periconiella musae, Veronaea musae), and Mycosphaerella musae are all referred to a 'leaf speckle'. Ramichloridium species are also said to cause 'tropical speckle'1. Mycosphaerella musae is called 'common speckle'. Colletotrichum musae and Fusarium species cause 'fruit speckle' in Australia.

AUTHORS Grahame Jackson & Eric McKenzie
1Information from Graham KM (1971) Plant diseases of Fiji. Her Majesty's Stationery Office. London; and (including Photos 2-5) 2Diseases of fruit crops in Australia (2009). Editors, Tony Cooke, et al. CSIRO Publishing; and from (including Photo 1) McKenzie E (2013) Ramichloridium biverticillatum: PaDIL - (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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