Sugarcane red spider mite, Oligonychus indicus
Oligonychus indicusis a harmful pest of sugarcane, maize and sorghum.
This species is widely distributed in India. The attack of this mite on sugarcane is more in north India and less in south India and causes 20-30% damage to the crop.
In case of sugarcane, maize and sorghum, feeding of this mite causes the appearance of reddish spots which increase with the severity of attack. These spots later coalesce to form large red patches and spread on the leaf surface to turn the colour of the leaf red.
It is grayish green mite with black blotches scattered over dorsum. There are 30 overlapping generation in a year; all stages occur together living in a delicate web of silk and breeding is continuous. The mite spreads by wind and also by crawling from plant to plant, when leaves touch each other. Adult males feed very little and the main damage is caused by the females and immature stages. Soft leaf varieties of sugarcane are more susceptible to attack than those having hard leaves.