Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2012
Publication Date: 3/14/2013
Citation: Kumar, V., Kakkar, G., McKenzie, C., Seal, D., Osborne, L. 2013. An overview of chilli thrips. Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) biology, distribution and management. pp. 53-77. In: S. Solenski and M. Larramendy (eds.), Weed and Pest Control - Conventional and New Challenges. Intech. Rijeka, Croatia 205 pp. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In the insect order Thysanoptera, the genus Scirtothrips Shull contains more than 100 thrips species, among which 10 species have been reported as serious pests of agricultural crops. Within this genus, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood is an emerging pest of various economically important host crops in the United States. S. dorsalis, is native to the Indian subcontinent and is a polyphagous pest with more than 100 reported hosts among 40 different families of plants. However, in the past two decades, increased globalization and open agricultural trade has resulted in the vast expansion of the geographical distribution and host range of the pest. In a recent study, this pest was found attacking 11 different hosts at a fruit nursery in Homestead, Florida. Interestingly, they were found to reproduce on nine plant taxa that had never been reported as hosts in the literature. The small size and cryptic nature of adults and larvae enables S. dorsalis to inhabit microhabitats of a plant and in the field, often making monitoring and the identification difficult. S. dorsalis’ life stages may occur on meristems and other tender tissues of all above ground parts of host plants. Consequently, the opportunity of trans-boundary transportation of S. dorsalis through the trade of plant materials is high. Existence of any variation in phenotypic and genetic makeup of such a pest makes identification much more difficult. Through this review, we examine the parameters facilitating worldwide distribution of this pest, damage potential and the advancement in the post invasion management strategies being practiced in the United States and other parts of the world. Studies will focus on the latest development in the integrated pest management of S. dorsalis including identification techniques and biological, chemical and cultural control strategies.