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Thrips tabaci (Lindeman)
Insecta, Thysanoptera, Thripidae .

Onion thrips

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

- Adult: 0.8 to 1.2 mm, yellowish, the male smaller than the female. Antennae: 7 segments. Wings are yellowish-brown(*) .
- Egg: elliptical, whitish, laid in leaf or flower tissue.
Nymph: whitish to pale yellowish-orange, or greeny-yellow, with red eyes.

- This thrips is highly polyphagous: it attacks the onion, leek (*) , tomato (*) , potato, tobacco and peach, the cabbage (*) (*) , lucerne (*) red beet and many ornamental plants, such as pinks (Dianthus).
Nymphs and adults suck the contents of sub-epidermal cells.
- The male is very rare. Reproduction is entirely parthenogenetic.
- The egg is inserted by the female in soft plant tissue; it is slightly protruberant and visible to the unaided eye. The female lives for 12 to 17 days and lays 30 eggs on average, after a feeding period of a few days.
- The aerial life of the nymph lasts 10 to 14 days, at the end of which it falls to the ground and burrows down to a few cms depth.
It there spends the pre"pupal" (2 days) and "pupal" (4 to 7 days) instars, without feeding.

[R]Life Cycle
In southern Europe, up to 5 generations may occur in the open. In heated glasshouses, generations (up to 14 per year) succeed at a rapid rate.
This species usually overwinters as females sheltering in the soil.

In the glasshouse, colonies may be very large and direct damage is often severe. Infested foliage is disfigured by many silvery marks corresponding to groups of empty cells. This symptom is typically associated with the presence of specks of black frass. Flower petals may also become discoloured and deformed.
In the open, populations may be very large during hot, dry weather. However, this thrips is usually harmful because it acts as a vectorof spotted-wilt virus on tomato.

- Of Mediterranean origin, the onion thrips is now found worldwide.
- Heavy rain or watering causes major mortality, because individuals are dislodged from the foliage.

[R]Common Names
DE: Tabakthrips, Zwiebelthrips ES: Trips de la cebolla, Trips del tabaco FR: Thrips du tabac et de l'oignon IT: Tripide degli orti PT: Tripes da cebola GB: Onion thrips, Chinese potato thrips

[R] Images

  1. Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on leaflet of alfalfa Emptied cells take on a greyish coloration. Black spots due to excrement are also visible.
  2. Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Attacks on leaf of leek Emptied cells, droplets of honeydew and small yellow nymphs.
  3. Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage on leaves of tomato
  4. Thrips tabaci Lindeman (BASF)
    Damage on cabbage
  5. Thrips tabaci Lindeman (BASF)
    Detailed picture of damage on cabbage
  6. Thrips tabaci Lindeman Adult (Drawing by R. Préchac / INRA Versailles)

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HYPPZ on line : Species (scientific name), Pests (common names), Glossary, Crops.

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