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Citrus

Citrus Thrips and Western Flower Thrips

Note that thrips' sizes below are not shown on the same relative scale. Names link to more information on identification and management.

Adults
First and second instars
Prepupa

Click on photos to enlarge

Adults

Citrus thrips adult
Citrus thrips adult
Identification tip: The adult citrus thrips body color varies from whitish or pale yellow (shown here) to orange. Their color is relatively uniform and they have a short stout abdomen. When resting naturally on foliage, citrus thrips' wing tips extend beyond the rear of their body and they lack distinct bristles at the rear end.

Western flower thrips adult
Western flower thrips adult
Identification tip: Western flower thrips can be white, yellow, orange, brown, or black. When resting naturally on foliage, the flower thrips abdomen extends beyond the wing tips, and there are thick, bristlelike hairs at the tip of the abdomen. When adults are observed side by side, it is apparent that western flower thrips abdomens are longer than citrus thrips abdomens. Flower thrips are harmless in citrus but sometimes are mistaken for citrus thrips.

First and second instars

Citrus thrips first-instar
Citrus thrips first instar
Identification tip: Larvae are white, yellow or light orangish, darkening as they age. They occur mostly on leaves and fruit, especially under the calyx. First instars have relatively parallel sides.

Western flower thrips first-instar
Western flower thrips first instar
Identification tip: Flower thrips larvae are whitish, yellow, or orangish. Flower thrips occur in citrus at bloom time and primarily on or near blossoms. The abdomen of the flower thrips is longer than that of  citrus thrips.

Citrus thrips second-instar (top) and first-instar
Citrus thrips second instar (top) and first instar
Identification tip: In comparison with the narrow body of a first instar (bottom), the second instar is broad or stout with a distinctly bulging abdomen.
Western flower thrips second-instar
Western flower thrips second instar
Identification tip: Second-instar flower thrips larvae are more elongate (skinny) in comparison with second-instar citrus thrips.
Prepupa

Citrus thrips prepupa
Citrus thrips prepupa
Identification tip: The prepupa has pale wing pads. Its antennae appear stubby because they are bent backward, unlike the forward-projecting antennae of other instars.

Western flower thrips prepupa
Western flower thrips prepupa
Identification tip: Flower thrips pupae are long and narrow and have stout hairs on the abdomen. The prepupa has wing buds and the antennae are directed back over the body.

Citrus thrips adult female in sticky trap
Citrus thrips adult female in sticky trap
Identification tip: Citrus thrips have no alternating dark and light bands on their appendages, body, or wings. In traps, the body is usually yellow to light orange. When using traps, be sure to distinguish the species of thrips caught.

Western flower thrips adult in sticky trap
Western flower thrips adult in sticky trap
Identification tip: Although flower thrips vary in color, they are usually yellow to brownish on sticky cards in citrus. Some individuals have brown abdominal bands. In a trap, neither hairs nor body length versus wing length is useful for identification. Hairs are obscured and posture is contorted by the sticky material.

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