Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Cassava green mite (438)

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  • Restricted. Africa, North (Mexico) and South America, the Caribbean (Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago). It is NOT recorded in Oceania.
  • Serious pest of cassava (and relatives). Defoliation, low root yield, and poor quality cuttings for next crop.
  • Mites pierce leaves, sucks out juices, causing yellowing, curling, death. Leaves fall, terminal buds die giving stems characteristic ‘candle stick’ appearance.
  • Eggs laid on leaves, producing larvae (six legs), then nymphs and finally yellowish-green adults, about 0.8 mm long. Higher populations in dry times. Note, there are other similar species, so samples need to be examined by experts.
  • Spread by walking, in wind or in water. Long distance spread on vehicles, on cuttings share between farmers, on nursery plants, or on leaves taken to market.
  • Biosecurity: prohibit unregulated cassava introductions; follow FAO Technical Guidelines for cassava germplasm moved internationally; use only virus-tested tissue cultures.
  • Natural enemies: key predator is Typhlodromalus aripo, together with Typhlodromalus manihoti.
  • Cultural control: IITA have bred tolerant varieties.
  • Chemical control: not recommended.
Common Name

Cassava green mite

Scientific Name

Mononychellus tanajoa. Another mite, Mononychellus caribbeanae, is considered a separate species by some taxonomists; previously, it was thought to be another name for Mononychellus tanajoa.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2019) Mononychellus tanajoa (cassava green mite). Crop Protection Compendium. (; and from Integrated cassava project. ( HarvestChoice (2014) Mononychellus tanajoa (Cassava green mite). Pest Geography. ( Photo 1 Georg Goergen, IITA/Insect Museum, Cotonou, Benin.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific.

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