The mango seed weevil is one of major pests of mangoes in East Africa. The larva, which is the damaging stage of the pest, enters the fruit burrowing through the flesh into the seeds, where they feed until pupation, destroying the seed. Early attack (when the fruits are forming) leads to premature fruit fall. If the attacks occur at a later stage, fruit infestation is very difficult to detect, since there are no external signs of infestation, except for an inconspicuous egg-laying scar, and consequent feeding activity in the seed remains undetected.
Weevils leave the fruit after it has fallen and decayed or when the fruit is ripe. Thus, yield is usually not significantly affected. When the adult emerges, it tunnels through the flesh into the open, leaving a hole in the fruit skin. In late-maturing varieties, it causes post-harvest damage to the pulp as the tunnel turns hard making the fruit unmarketable. This hole also serves as an entry point for secondary fungal infection.
Mango seed weevil is a quarantine pest. Probably its greatest significance as a pest is to interfere with the export of fruit because of quarantine restrictions imposed by importing countries and the market requirement for blemish-free fruit. This is particularly troublesome in the case of the mango seed weevil because, in many instances, weevil attack remains undetected in the field, and is first noticed in storage or in transit.
Weevil feeding reduces the germination capacity of seeds. All the evidence suggests that weevils spread into clean areas through the movement of infested fruit for propagation and consumption. In Australia, young orchards planted from weevil-free-nursery stock have been shown to be free of seed weevil infestation for a number of years after establishment, even in areas known to have seed weevil (Pinese and Holmes 2005).
Complete development of the mango seed weevil is only possible in mangoes.
Infested fruits are difficult to detect to the untrained eye. The cuts made by egg-laying females are small and generally soon heal, leaving very small, dark, crescent-shaped marks on the fruit skin. Infested fruits present internal rot on the outer surface of the stone. The stones also show holes and the cotyledons turn black and become a rotten mass. When the adult emerges a hole is visible in the fruit skin, which also serves as an entry point for secondary fungal infection.
Affected plant stages
Fruiting stage and post-harvest.
Affected plant parts
Fruits and seeds.
Fruits: internal feeding.
Seeds: internal feeding.