Diel flight pattern and periodicity of chilli thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on selected hosts in south Florida

Vivek K. Jha, Dakshina R. Seal, David J. Schuster, Garima Kakkar


Chilli thrips is a newly introduced pest in Florida and is dispersing quickly all over the state. It is a potential threat to our fruit, ornamental, and vegetable industries. Information on various aspects of this pest’s biology in relation to its host crops is needed to develop an effective integrated pest management program. There is no published information on flight pattern and relationship between temperature and abundance of chilli thrips in multiple cropping systems. Knowledge of diel flight pattern is an important factor in developing a sound management program of Scirtothrips dorsalis. Several studies were initiated in Homestead, FL, in 2008 to study its biology and damaging potential to various host crops. Diel periodicity of the intra-plant dispersion of Scirtothrips dorsalis was observed on cotton, peanut, and pepper at 2-hour intervals every day, to find an association among their activity, dispersal, and microclimate of the habitat. Abundance of chilli thrips was found to be maximum on cotton followed by peanut and pepper. Also, with increase in height, decrease in chilli thrips abundance was observed. Peak flight activity of chilli thrips was observed between 1000 and 1400 Eastern Standard Time.

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283