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Monday, May 07, 2007

Are They Friendly Thrips?

Inside this abutilon bud you can see many small dark colored thrips. They moved quickly (squirreled, my husband would say) around inside there as I watched in the hot hot afternoon sun. There are lots of thrips species; you can check here for a pretty good low-down on them. Some of them are beneficial, friendly thrips that feed on pest species. You may be familiar with cuban laurel thrips that live in ficus trees and drop on you as you walk below. Sometimes they bite, thinking you are a ficus leaf.

As far as I could tell, what I have here on the mallow are "most other pest thrips" yet to be identified. The bad thrips suck plant juices, causing deformed and/or stippled leaves and blossoms and scarred fruits. The worst thrips transmit viral disease to plants.

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