Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Tiny plant-feeding insects called thrips can do major damage to crops. During the summer of 1996, a new, exotic thrips caused serious damage to avocado fruits and trees in Ventura county in southern California. Damaged avocado groves and backyard trees were found in seven counties by July of 1997. This tiny thrips belongs to the same group of insects that include the native citrus thrips which damage oranges in southern California. The information presented here on morphological characters enables the identification of the species and provides clues to researchers for locating the origin of the species and thereby leading to possible sources of natural enemies. The thrips is new to science and is described here as Scirtothrips perseae to provide a scientific name needed by researchers ad associated workers for their biological and field studies, development of control methods, registration of pesticides, writing grant proposals, and for reports and communication about the thrips.
Technical Abstract: Scirtothrips perseae new species is described. It is a pest of avocado in southern California.