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Limothrips cerealium (Haliday)
Insecta, Thysanoptera, Thripidae .

Grain thrips, Corn thrips

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images


[R]Description
- Adult female: 1.6-1.8 mm long; body pale brown to black; legs black with fore tibia and tarsus yellowish; wings translucent and edged with setae; antennae 8-segmented; 2 pairs of very thick setae present on the lateral margins of tergite 8; 10th abdominal segment conical and pointed; male distincly smaller than female and always apterous (*) .
- Nymph: yellowish-white in colour; similar in shape to the adult.
"Pupa": translucent white.

[R]Biology
- Host plants: Gramineae, especially wheat, oats, barley and maize.
- Adult: the fertilized female resumes activity in April and flies in search of a gramineous host. It feeds on the tenderest leaves, rasping them and sucking up cell contents. It deposits eggs at the base of leaves or inside the newest sheath. It then moves on to the ear when it is visible and lays eggs inside the glumes and in young ovaries. The female places its eggs under the plant's epidermis with its oviscapt (*) .
- Nymph: feeds in the sheaths or on the ears by biting the floral parts and developed seeds (*) ; once it has completed its development, the nymph "pupates" in the sheath or in the ear.

[R]Life Cycle
- There is 1 generation per year in France, 2 in certain countries like Scotland, Germany, the Netherlands, and even sometimes a 3rd partial generation (Sweden).
- Males emerge in early June, fertilizing the females and dying soon afterwards. After feeding for a while, females leave the host plant in late July (when the water content of ears drops below 45%) and fly to overwintering sites, forming exceptionally vast clouds.

[R]Damage
- By damaging the ovaries, nymphs can cause the plant to become sterile, which results in a severe reduction in grain yield (*) .
- Feeding punctures of nymphs lead to the formation of flecks on the grain, pasta manufacturers then refusing the semolina.
- Adults 'bite' people and may enter houses in large numbers.


[R]Common Names
DE: Getreideblasenfuß ES: Trips del trigo Thrips des céréales IT: Tripide del grano PT: Tripes dos cereais GB: Grain thrips

[R] Images

  1. Limothrips cerealium (Haliday) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Adults on maize
  2. Limothrips cerealium (Haliday) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Egg-laying on barley Females laying eggs (a). Eggs (b) are inserted in thick tissue.
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  3. Limothrips cerealium (Haliday) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on barley Nymphs feed on the contents of the cells, which become filled with air. Leaves then appear silvery.
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  4. Limothrips cerealium (Haliday) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on ear of wheat Dried heads.
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