Thrips palmi Karny, 1925

This species is a serious pest of cucurbits and many other plants in countries throughout the moist tropics, both from direct feeding damage and from the transmission of tospoviruses.
Originally from South East Asia, this species is now widespread throughout the wet tropics. Both its distribution, and the size of its populations, appear to be severely limited by weather conditions. Large populations develop under hot and humid conditions, but heavy rain as well as low temperatures and also aridity are all conditions under which the species does not thrive.
Female macropterous; body and legs yellow, major setae light brown; antennal segments IV & V brown distally, VI & VII brown; forewings pale. Antennae 7-segmented, III & IV slightly constricted at apex with short forked sense cone; VII short. Head wider than long, with 2 pairs of ocellar setae; pair III small and arising just outside the ocellar triangle; postocular setae pair I slightly longer than ocellar setae III. Pronotum with 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae, posterior margin with 3 pairs of setae. Metanotum with irregular longitudinal lines converging to posterior margin, with curving transverse lines at anterior; median setae arising behind anterior margin, campaniform sensilla present. Mesofurca with spinula. Forewing first vein with 3 (or 2) setae on distal half, second vein with row of about 15 setae. Tergite II with 4 lateral marginal setae; V–VIII with ctenidia present laterally, on VIII posteromesad to spiracles; posterior margin of VIII with complete comb of long slender microtrichia; pleurotergites without discal setae. Sternite II with 2 pairs of marginal setae, III–VII with 3 pairs, the median pair on VII arising in front of margin; sternites without discal setae.
Male similar to female but smaller; tergite VIII with marginal comb complete medially; sternites III–VII with narrow transverse glandular area.
Related species
Thrips palmi is most readily confused with the widespread Old World species Thrips flavus, but has the ocellar setae III posterolateral to the fore ocellus and outside the ocellar triangle, instead of posterior to this ocellus and within the ocellar triangle.

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