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Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Scirtothrips dorsalis, Thrips palmi

Damage symptoms

Areas near the mid-vein are brown and dried up. The major damage occurs on the undersides of new or old leaves. Leaves tend to curl upward like the shell of a boat. They appear distorted or misshapen.

Insect characteristics

Modified piercing-sucking mouthparts. These insects are very small, about the size of a flea. They are just visible to the naked eye. The young are yellow or white. Adults are darker and brownish with or without stripes on their backs.

Where to look

Inspect the upper surface of the leaves for brownish damaged areas on either side of the mid-vein. Insects congregate at the mid-vein or at the borders of damaged areas and feed on healthy tissue.

Technical information

Adults lay eggs within leaf tissues and the young hatch after several days. Adults are excitable and fly off if disturbed. Pupation occurs in the soil usually at the base of the plant. Definitive identification of species should be made by trained taxonomists. Thrips feed on a wide variety of vegetable crops. Some species are host-specific and some are not.

thrips on underside of leaf

leaf curling
Leaf curling

scarred fruits
Scarred fruits

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