Predation of Gynaikothrips uzeli (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) By Androthrips ramachandrai (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae)

Fábio Spézia De Melo, Adriano Cavalleri, Milton De Souza Mendonça Jr

Abstract


The galling thrips Gynaikothrips uzeli Zimmermann (Phlaeothripidae) has attained pest status by attacking the leaves of the weeping fig, Ficus benjamina. Another thrips species, Androthrips ramachandrai Karny (Phlaeothripidae), was recently reported feeding on G. uzeli immatures. Here we conducted choice tests with adults of A. ramachandrai to evaluate any preference for the immature stages of G. uzeli (egg, larva or pupa) in artificial arenas. Nochoice experiments were also conducted to measure the rate of feeding on each immature stage of the galling thrips by adults of A. ramachandrai in a period of 24 h. There was no significant preference by the predators for the different immature stages of G. uzeli, but adults consumed more eggs than larvae or pupae of the gall thrips. Here we discuss the predatory behavior of this thrips and its potential as a biological control agent against G. uzeli.

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