Submitted to: International Journal of Acarology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/14/2012
Publication Date: 3/18/2012
Citation: Nickle, D.A., Bauchan, G.R. 2012. Low temperature–scanning electron microscopy to evaluate morphology and predation of Scolothrips sexmaculatus Pergande (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) against spider mites (Acari: Tetranychidae: Tetranychus species). International Journal of Acarology. 58(1):40-48.
Interpretive Summary: Thrips are a group of minute insects, many of which are pests of agricultural crops, trees, and ornamental plants. Some species, however, are beneficial, acting as natural enemies of pest thrips and mites of agricultural importance. One species, the six-spotted thrips, is a predator of the two-spotted spider mite, which is a pest of numerous crops and greenhouse plantings. This paper evaluates the potential usefulness of low temperature-scanning electron microscopy to evaluate morphology and predation behavior of the six-spotted thrips against the two-spotted spider mite. The information will be useful to those studying these insects as biological control agents against pest mites, to APHIS identifiers, and to members of the scientific community studying classification, identification, and behavior of thrips.
Technical Abstract: This paper evaluates the potential usefulness of low temperature-scanning electron microscopy (LT-SEM) to evaluate morphology and predation behavior of the six-spotted thrips (Scolothrips sexmaculatus Pergande) against the two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae (Koch)). Morphological features of stage II larva, pupa, and adult are imaged for the first time, including fine detail of (1) chemoreceptors on larval and adult antennae and (2) structural differences of the mesothoracic spiracle. Aspects of predation by the six-spotted thrips on the two-spotted spider mites are seen for the first time using LT-SEM. Two possible functions of the barbed setae on the six-spotted thrips are (1) its potential to eliminate sticky exudates on webbing laid down by the mite, and (2) barbs may redirect web strands away from the body of the thrips as it approaches its prey.