Greenhouse Thrips

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Scientific name

Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Bouche)

Family

Thripidae (subfamily Panchaetothripinae)

Description

Adult (female): Body dark brown, abdomen golden in color in newly emerged adults, with heavy reticulate sculpture; antennae with 8 segments; forewings slender with no long setae and rounded apex, pale with hind margin and veinal fork shaded; head strongly reticulate; pronotum reticulate at anterior and posterior, with no long setae; legs paler in color than body.

Diagnostic features

Body is dark with pale colored legs and with heavy reticulate sculpture. Forewings slender (narrow) with broad bases, no scultpture, and a rounded apex.

Distribution

Originally from South America. Greenhouse thrips are now widespread in Europe, North America, South America, Australia, Africa, and Asia.

Hosts

Palms: a wide diversity of palms

Other: a wide variety of plants

Additional comments

Damage can be detected by leaves being distorted, mottled, curled under, and turning brown. Leaves bear characteristic black spots of larval fecal material. Plants become stunted and flowers become discolored. Fruit surfaces become bronze in color. Large populations are particularly common on plants that are water-stressed.

Species identification requires at least a dissecting microscope with 40x magnification. Often, slide mounted specimens are required for verification.

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