Pest of the month: Western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis)
Importance: Major. Most flowers and on leaves, also attacks all vegetable crops.
Similar to: Onion thrips, plague thrips, tomato thrips.
Description: Egg: Yellowish, kidney-shaped, laid into flowers, fruit or leaves.Immatures: Pale yellow to orange-yellow, with distinctly bright red eyes, wingless and similar in shape to adults. Pupa with wing buds. Pupates in soil and leaf litter, rarely on plant. Adult: Female generally yellow to orange, cigar-shaped with darker abdomen, antennae dark tipped, pair of long hairs at each corner of upper thorax. They have tiny, narrow wings carried over the back. The male is smaller and generally pale yellow.
Damage: Feeds by piercing plant cells and sucking out the contents resulting in distortion, bronzing or scarring of leaves and flowers. One of the most efficient vectors of tomato spotted wild virus.
For further industry pest information refer to the factsheet, thrips pest management plan and at www.pestid.com.au
An initiative of the Nursery Levy funded National Nursery Industry Biosecurity Program (NY15004) and ‘Building the resilience and on-farm biosecurity capacity of the Australian production nursery industry’ Project (NY15002).