Thursday, October 2, 2014

Onion thrips

Today we are looking at some very common insects that most of the times go unnoticed because they are very tiny (1mm long or less). Thrips such as the Onion thrips (Thrips tabaci) are tiny, slender insects with fringed wings which feed on many different plants and animals by puncturing them and sucking up the contents.

Although they have wings thrips are not very good flyers, although they can be carried long distances by the wind.

The word thrips is used for both the singular and plural forms, so there may be many thrips or a single thrips. You might know this already from the words sheep, deer and moose.

Many thrips are pests of crops due to the damage they cause by feeding on developing flowers or vegetables. Today’s bug for example has an insatiable appetite for onion leaves but also eats pollen and even the eggs of mites.

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