Abortion Raoiella indica

R. indica is a small red mite, which is characterized by the presence of long spatulate setae on its dorsum, often with a drop of liquid on the end. The body shape is oval and flattened and the male can be distinguished from the female by the distinct triangular abdomen (Kane and Ochoa, 2006;Welbourn, 2006). All stages of the mite are red;however, the adult females often have darkened areas on their abdomen. There are five distinct life stages: egg, larva, protonymph, deutonymph and adult. The original description by Hirst (1924) stated that the length of the adult female (including palpi) is 0.29-0.30 mm and the male is 0.21 mm. Redescriptions have quoted the length of the adult female as between 267-300 µm and the width between 178 and 215 µm (Hirst, 1924;Taher Sayed, 1942;Sadana, 1997). The eggs are approximately 0.117 mm long, red/orange and smooth and shiny in appearance (Moutia, 1958) and are found attached to the leaf by a stipe that is roughly twice as long as the egg (Kane and Ochoa, 2006). Zaher et al. (1969) stated that the length of the larva was 125 µm long and 93 µm wide, the protonymph 210 µm long and 159 µm wide, and the deutonymph 272 µm long and 179 µm wide. Welbourn (2006) stated that the dorsal and lateral setae of nymphs are distinctly shorter than those of the adult, and dorsal setae are not set in tubercules (projecting setal bases).


Colonies of R. indica are usually found on the underside of leaves/leaflets of the host plants. Colonies often contain mites of all stages as well as exuvial remains (white cast skins) and can have up to 300 individuals (Kane and Ochoa, 2006). Inspection of the underside of leaflets of host plants using a hand lens, or removal of material and inspection under a dissecting microscope can confirm the presence of mites (Hoy et al., 2006). Affected host plants will generally display symptoms under heavy infestations. Typical damage symptoms include localized yellowing of the leaf, which can spread into larger chlorotic patches. Heavy infestations may be found along the midrib of coconut leaflets and damage may progress from localized yellowing to necrosis (Rodríguez et al., 2007). Infestations on bananas [ Musa paradisiaca ] and plantain often cause yellowing along the margins of the leaf (USDA-APHIS, 2007). If there are heavy infestations, persons inspecting the host plant may find they pick up red on their fingers from the mites on the underside of leaves.
A diagnostic Lucid key to 20 species of Raoiella is available in Flat Mites of the World.


The presence of colonies of R. indica on leaflets or leaves initially causes localized yellowing, which may spread to form larger chlorotic patches. This can result in yellowing of the leaflet and potentially necrosis. In general, lower leaflets of palms are more severely affected and may appear yellow in colour. Infestations on bananas [ Musa paradisiaca ] and plantain often cause yellowing along the margins of the leaf (USDA-APHIS, 2007). On coconuts [ Cocos nucifera ] in the Caribbean it has been reported that flowers and small nuts may abort following the yellowing of the leaflets. Young seedlings appear to be most affected and the fronds most affected by the mite are generally in the lower third of the canopy (Hoy et al., 2006). Peña et al. (2009) stated that heavy infestations may result in death of young plants.


R. indica was first described in India in 1924 (Hirst) and has since been reported in several Old World countries. The species became of recent significance in 2004 when it was first reported in the Caribbean (Flechtmann and Étienne, 2004). Since then the mite has successfully spread throughout the islands of the Caribbean and has expanded its range into southern Florida (USDA-APHIS, 2007), South America (northern Venezuela, Vásquez et al., 2008;Brazil, Navia et al., 2010;Colombia, Carrillo et al., 2011) and Mexico (Estrada-Venegas et al., 2010). The mite has been reported on a wide range of palm hosts of the family Arecaceae and apparent new associations with members of the order Zingiberales, including the families Musaceae, Heliconiaceae, Zingiberaceae and Strelitziaceae have been reported. The success of the mite in the invasive range may be attributed to its ability to colonize many different host plant species, its apparent lack of co-evolved natural enemies in its new habitat and its rapid dispersal in its new range.


The Host Plant list in this datasheet is compiled from Cocco and Hoy (2009) and Goldsmith (2009). It is noted in Cocco and Hoy (2009) that there is often no information on the life stage found on the host plant and therefore the list reflects which host plant species R. indica has been recorded on. Population levels on each of the host plants have not been recorded/published to date;therefore data on the ability of R. indica to complete a full lifecycle on each species is not available currently. In Cocco and Hoy (2009), laboratory assays to ascertain this on several varieties of Musa sp. were carried out and it was found that populations were more easily established on Cocos nucifera. However, reports from the eastern Caribbean confirm that multi-generational colonies do occur in the field on certain varieties of Musa sp. including Dwarf Cavendish, Giant Cavendish, Robusta and Williams, and for plantain varieties: Apem;Cents Livre;Ordinary;Dwarf French;and Horn. The difference between laboratory and field observations warrants further investigation.

Biological Control
Biological control is seen as the best way to tackle the introduction of the mite, due to its widespread presence throughout the Caribbean and now Florida and South America. Chemical control is difficult as palms can grow incredibly tall and are difficult to treat. Several routes of biological control are being investigated. Pe–a et al. (2009) have investigated the response of native and commercially-produced predators to the introduction of R. indica into Florida. Predator density was observed to increase 6 months after the introduction of R. indica into Florida with the most common association found to be with Amblyseius largoensis. Laboratory studies by Carrillo et al. (2010) have shown that A. largoensis can play a role in controlling R. indica in Florida, and observations from the field have shown this predator to increase in density on introduction of R. indica to the area (Pe–a et al., 2009). A. largoensis has been reported in association with R. indica in several of the countries where the mite is invasive, including Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago (Pe–a et al., 2009), and Cuba (Ramos-Lima et al., 2010). Interest has arisen in the possibility of classical biological control due to the abundance of predators reported in the Old World. Preliminary investigations by CABI (B Taylor, CABI, 2009, personal observation) into the possibility of classical biological control have been funded by USDA. The study has looked at the abundance of predators associated with R. indica in India, and studies have confirmed that phytoseiid mites are the most commonly-occurring predator associated with the mite (species ID underway). However, suitability as biological control agents has not been investigated and further research is required before the importation of an exotic predator would be possible.

Source: cabi.org
From Wikipedia:

Abortion is the ending of a pregnancy by removal or expulsion of an embryo or fetus. An abortion that occurs without intervention is known as a miscarriage or "spontaneous abortion" and occurs in approximately 30% to 50% of pregnancies. When deliberate steps are taken to end a pregnancy, it is called an induced abortion, or less frequently "induced miscarriage". The unmodified word abortion generally refers to an induced abortion. Late termination of pregnancy, also called late term abortion, is rare, accounting for fewer than 1% of abortions in the United States, and is usually done because of severe fetal deformity, where long-term survival is unlikely, or because of risk to the woman's life.

When properly done, abortion is one of the safest procedures in medicine,:1 :1 but unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal death, especially in the developing world. Making safe abortion legal and accessible reduces maternal deaths. It is safer than childbirth, which has a 14 times higher risk of death in the United States. Modern methods use medication or surgery for abortions. The drug mifepristone in combination with prostaglandin appears to be as safe and effective as surgery during the first and second trimester of pregnancy. The most common surgical technique involves dilating the cervix and using a suction device. Birth control, such as the pill or intrauterine devices, can be used immediately following abortion. When performed legally and safely on a woman who desires it, induced abortions do not increase the risk of long-term mental or physical problems. In contrast, unsafe abortions (those performed by unskilled individuals, with hazardous equipment, or in unsanitary facilities) cause 47,000 deaths and 5 million hospital admissions each year. The World Health Organization recommends safe and legal abortions be available to all women.

Around 56 million abortions are performed each year in the world, with about 45% done unsafely. Abortion rates changed little between 2003 and 2008, before which they decreased for at least two decades as access to family planning and birth control increased. As of 2018, 37% of the world's women had access to legal abortions without limits as to reason. Countries that permit abortions have different limits on how late in pregnancy abortion is allowed.

Historically, abortions have been attempted using herbal medicines, sharp tools, forceful massage, or through other traditional methods. Abortion laws and cultural or religious views of abortions are different around the world. In some areas abortion is legal only in specific cases such as rape, problems with the fetus, poverty, risk to a woman's health, or incest. There is debate over the moral, ethical, and legal issues of abortion. Those who oppose abortion often argue that an embryo or fetus is a human with a right to life, and they may compare abortion to murder. Those who support the legality of abortion often hold that it is part of a woman's right to make decisions about her own body. Others favor legal and accessible abortion as a public health measure.