Association of the Red Ring Nematode, Rhadinaphelenchus cocophilus, with Weevils from Ecuador and Trinidad


  • Karin Gerber
  • Robin M. Giblin-Davis
  • Jenny Escobar-Goyes


Coconut Palm, Cocos nucifera, Diplogasteritus, Dynamis borassi, Ecuador, Palm Weevil, Red Ring Disease, Red Ring Nematode, Rhadinaphelenchus cocophilus, Rhynchophorus palmarum, Teratorhabditis, Trinidad, Xyleborus


Cocoons with larvae, prepupae, or pupae of the palm weevil, Rhynchophorus palmarum (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), were collected from red ring diseased (RRD) coconut palms, Cocos nucifera in Ecuador and Trinidad. Each stage of the weevil was removed from its cocoon, surface-disinfested, and allowed to emerge as an adult. Only 31% of the newly emerged weevils from RRD coconut palms from Ecuador (n = 16) were infested internally with the red ring nematode, Rhadinaphelenchus cocophilus, compared with 83% of the weevils (n = 24) from Trinidad. Infestation levels of the newly emerged palm weevils with Diplogasteritus sp. and Teratorhabditis sp. were low. In Ecuador, the weevil Dynamis borassi was observed to do significant damage to the inflorescences of 15-20-year-old coconut palms. It can carry a high number of red ring nematodes internally through metamorphosis suggesting that it may be a vector of RRD in Ecuador.