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Title: Structure and composition of a thrips community in the Chihuahua Desert, New Mexico, U.S.

item LOGARZO, GUILLERMO - South American Biological Control Lab(SABCL)
item ZAMAR, MARIA INES - Consejo Nacional De Investigaciones Científicas Y Técnicas(CONICET)
item RICHMAN, DAVID - New Mexico State University
item BRUZONE, OCTAVIO - National Institute Of Agricultural Technology(INTA)

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/21/2011
Publication Date: 3/17/2012
Citation: Logarzo, G.A., Zamar, M., Richman, D., Bruzone, O. 2012. Structure and composition of a thrips community in the Chihuahua Desert, New Mexico, U.S.. Florida Entomologist. 95(1):35-42.

Interpretive Summary: Owing to the constant destruction of natural environments, any information on species diversity has become critically important to understand the functioning of natural communities. The diversity of the thrips fauna of the United States is partially known, mainly because of the limited studies and collecting efforts on natural areas. So far, 3 states, California, Florida and Georgia, have a checklist of thrips species. Most studies on these insects have been focused on control of pest thrips. Consequently, there is a big gap in the knowledge of thrips associated to native plants. We carried out a study of the insects that feed on plants in an arid ecosystem located in the Chihuahua desert in New Mexico, dominated by creosote bush, woody snakeweeds, honey mesquite, and tarbush. Previously, we published the results of the leafhopper community. Now we are reporting the species composition of a native community of thrips in New Mexico: thrips species were sampled on 13 perennial woody plants to provide information of plant use, thrips abundance and seasonality.

Technical Abstract: The structure and composition of a thysanopteran community was studied on 13 woody and perennial native plants in the Chihuahua Desert. Individual plants were sampled with sticky-traps on 8 dates from May 1997 to September 1998. We sampled 4,763 adult thrips belonging to 26 species in 19 genera, of which 16 could be identified to species. Four families are represented, Thripidae (17 species comprised 98.2 % of the collected specimens), Phlaeothripidae (5 species comprised 1.6%), Aeolothripidae (2 species comprised 0.1%) and Heterothripidae (1 species comprised 0.1%). A total of 20 species (76.9%) were phytophagous (on flowers and leaves), 5 (19.2%) were predators, whereas one (3.8%) was mycophagous. The thrips richness and abundance were positively correlated with plant volume. Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) was the most abundant species and accounted 73.9% of the total collection of the sampled thrips, which together with Chirothrips falsus, Microcephalothrips abdominalis, Frankliniella gossypiana, Baileyothrips arizonensis, and Neohydatothrips signifer comprised 96.3% of the total collected thrips. Main abundances, considering all thrips species, occurred in fall and spring; no thrips were collected during winter. This seasonal pattern of occurrence was observed for the most abundant thrips species.