Mound, Laurence A. & Morris, David C., 2007, A new thrips pest of Myoporum cultivars in California, in a new genus of leaf-galling Australian Phlaeothripidae (Thysanoptera), Zootaxa 1495, pp. 35-45 : 36-37

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.177031

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Thysanoptera Phlaeothripidae as pests

The thrips that is damaging Myoporum is a member of the Phlaeothripidae , one of the two major families of Thysanoptera . In general, pest thrips belong to the second major family, the Thripidae ( Mound, 2005 a), including all of the known tospovirus vectors ( Mound, 1996 b). In contrast, many species of Phlaeothripidae are fungus-feeders, on dead twigs, dead leaves and in leaf litter ( Morse & Hoddle, 2006), with flower-feeding occurring among a smaller group of species, mostly Holarctic members of the genus Haplothrips (Mound & Minaei, in press). A few phlaeothripids are predatory, but the species of the other major group in this family feed on green leaves, some inducing galls ( Mound, 1994). These leaf-feeding Phlaeothripidae are often hostspecific ( Mound, 2005 a), thus greatly limiting their potential to be general crop pests.

One pest phlaeothripid, the Cuban laurel thrips, Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marchal) , is well known around the world inducing leaf-galls on cultivated Ficus microcarpa (Mound et al., 1996; Boyd & Held, 2006). In south eastern Asia, Piper species, both wild and cultivated, often exhibit leaf-curl damage due to Liothrips piperinus Priesner and related species ( Ananthakrishnan & Raman, 1989). Similarly, Liothrips vaneeckei Priesner is widespread as a minor pest on lily bulbs ( Malipatil et al., 2002), and Liothrips adisi zur Strassen damages the leaves of Paullinia cupana , the Brazilian tree from which the drink Guarana is produced (zur Strassen, 1978). In Japan, the cruciferous spice plant, Wasabia japonica , is damaged by Liothrips wasabiae Haga & Okajima , and the leaves of persimmon ( Diospyros kaki ) are galled by Ponticulothrips diospyrosi Haga & Okajima (Okajima, 2006) . With so few pest species recorded amongst the Phlaeothripidae , the societal impact of this widespread family of thrips is limited, despite the large numbers of species and their intrinsically interesting biologies, including sub-sociality ( Crespi, 1990), eusociality ( Crespi et al., 2004), and striking structural polymorphisms ( Mound, 2005 b).