Back to Biodiversity Explorer main pageGo to Iziko Museums of Cape Town home pageAbout Biodiversity Explorer - history, goals, etc.Send us your questions about southern African biodiversityPeople who have contributed content and images.Search Biodiversity Explorer

Mangifera indica (Mango)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid II > Order: Sapindales > Family: Anacardiaceae

The Mango is native to Burma and NE India and its cultivation extends back to about 2000 BC.

The Mango Tree is native to Burma and NE India and can grow to a height of over 40 m and live for more than a century. It is thought to have been planted as a fruit tree in India as far back as 2000 BC. Over time, plants have been selected that have larger, more flavourful fruit with less resin and fiber, and smaller pits. However, this has been difficult because they are cross-pollinated so that it is difficult to develop independent breeding lines. The long generation time is an added problem to the selection process. One way of getting round these problems has been to use vegetative propagation by grafting.

Introduction of Mango trees to the rest of subtropical Asia is thought to have started by about 400 BC. The Portuguese planted Mango trees in coastal areas of East and West Africa in the 17th century but has been suggested that they reached Africa earlier than this with Persian and Arab trade to East Africa. They were first planted in South America (in Brazil) in about 1700. Towards the end of the 19th century Mango trees had been introduced to most parts of the World where they could grow.  

The leaves and sap can cause skin problems (dermatitis). Eating too much mango can evidently cause kidney inflammation.

Ecological relationships

Herbivores in southern Africa

Aceria mangiferae (Mango bud mite)

Arachnida > Acari (mites) > Eriophyidae

 

Sternochetus mangiferae (Mango weevil)

Insecta (insects) > Coleoptera > Curculionidae

 

Procontarinia matteiana (Mango leaf gall fly)

Insecta (insects) > Diptera > Cecidomyiidae

 

Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean Fruitfly)

Insecta (insects) > Diptera > Tephritidae

 

Pardalaspis cosyra (Marula Fruitfly)

Insecta (insects) > Diptera > Tephritidae

 

Pterandrus rosa (Natal Fruitfly)

Insecta (insects) > Diptera > Tephritidae

 

Pseudotheraptus wayi (Coconut Bug)

Insecta (insects) > Hemiptera (bugs) > Coreidae

 

Aulacaspis tubercularis (Mango Scale)

Insecta (insects) > Hemiptera (bugs) > Diaspididae (armoured scales)

 

Cryptophlebia leucotreta (False codling moth)

Insecta (insects) > Lepidoptera > Tortricidae

 

Batocnema africana (Harlequin Hawkmoth)

Insecta (insects) > Lepidoptera > Sphingidae (hawkmoths)

 

Scirtothrips aurantii (Citrus Thrips)

Insecta (insects) > Thysanoptera (thrips)

For more on thrips found on mango trees in South Africa, see Grové et al. (2001).

 

Endophytes

Acetobacter diazotrophicus

Bacteria

Acid-producing, nitrogen-fixing bacterium that is found in fruit of mango plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links

Publications

  • Grové, T., Giliomee, J.H. & Pringle, K.L. 2001. Thrips (Thysanoptera) species associated with mango trees in South Africa. African Entomology 9: 153-162.

  • Sauer, J.D. 1993. Historical geography of crop plants - a select roster. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Text by Hamish Robertson

 

Contact us if you can contribute information or images to improve this page.

Biodiversity Explorer home   Iziko home   Search