Production of banana (Musa spp.) is a major economic activity in the humid tropical region of Mexico. Any damage to the fruit is unacceptable for domestic and export markets. The aim of this study was to determine the pest species that damage the epidermis of banana fruit and evaluate the intensity of damage in different development stages of banana bunches and its incidence in commercial plantations. The study was at ‘Giant Dwarf’ Musa AAA Cavendish banana plantations at Teapa, Tabasco, from August 2010 to April 2012. The beetle Myochrous melancholicus Jacoby (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was identified as the cause of the damage. Adults cause small, irregular and superficial cuts or incisions on the edges of the fruit, almost overlapping each other, which, when dry, form elongated scars. In infestations induced in the field, the species caused from 4.8 to 14.5% of damage fruits throughout the developmental period of banana bunches. The incidence of adults and damage was detected only during the wettest time of the year, and in isolation in some cultivated areas in the region. The beetle is voracious and under favorable conditions can become a major pest. This is the first report of M. melancholicus damaging banana fruit. A more in-depth study of the biological cycle, host plants, and feeding behavior of the beetle, is urgently needed as a basis to determine management strategies in case of outbreak.
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Vol. 43 • No. 1