Note that thrips'
sizes below are not shown on the same relative scale. Names link
to more information on identification and management.
Click on photos to enlarge
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
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.
and second instars
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
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
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
Western flower thrips second instar
Identification tip: Second-instar flower thrips
larvae are more elongate (skinny) in comparison with second-instar
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
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
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
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.