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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #333069

Title: Thrips (Thysanoptera) of coffee flowers

item ORTIZ, JOSE - Ecosur
item MOUND, LAURENCE - Commonwealth Scientific And Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)
item Vega, Fernando

Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/21/2016
Publication Date: 5/1/2017
Citation: Infante, F., Ortiz, J.A., Solis-Montero, L., Mound, L.A., Vega, F.E. 2017. Thrips (Thysanoptera) of coffee flowers. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 110:329-337.

Interpretive Summary: Coffee is a very important export commodity, with an estimated annual retail sales value of approximately US $70 billion. Even though an enormous amount of scientific literature on coffee has been published, relatively little is known about thrips visiting coffee flowers. A total of 40 thrips species in 22 genera were identified after being collected on coffee flowers. Seven thrips species were found to be carrying coffee pollen grains on the bodies, which suggests they might be involved in coffee pollination. This information will be of use to coffee scientists, entomologists, and ecologists.

Technical Abstract: A survey of thrips (Thysanoptera) associated with coffee flowers was conducted in coffee plantations in Chiapas, Mexico. The main objectives were to identify them and to determine whether they were carrying coffee pollen grains. A total of 40 thrips species in 22 genera were identified. The most common species were Karnyothrips merrillii, Haplothrips gowdeyi, Frankliniella invasor, Frankliniella parvula, and Frankliniella varipes. Karnyothrips merrillii is considered a predator of thrips and other small arthropods while the other four species are phytophagous. We inferred the thrips species collected in coffee flowers might be living on other plants and shift to coffee due to the abundance of pollen and nectar during the flowering season. Using microscopy, we examined the bodies of thrips caught in sticky traps. We found coffee pollen grains on the bodies of seven thrips species and discuss the possibility of these thrips serving as coffee pollinators.