New insights into the life cycle and behaviour of the exotic pest Thrips parvispinus
Abstract: Thrips parvispinus is an invasive thrips species from South-East Asia. It has spread
to Europe over the last 20 years and was found in Greece, France, Spain and recently established in the Netherlands. This highly polyphagous insect causes damage on many ornamental crops (chrysanthemum, ficus, anthurium…), fruits (papaya, mango…) and vegetables (peppers, eggplant…), in greenhouses and open fields. There is currently no effective biological control strategy against this exotic pest because it is still relatively little studied. To better understand how to control T. parvispinus populations in greenhouse crops, we studied different aspects of its life cycle and behaviour. We looked at its developmental time at different temperatures, the impact of different alternative food types on its oviposition rate and its predation capacity on predatory mite eggs. Our results suggest that biological control of T. parvispinus is challenging for several reasons such as a rapid developmental time and an ability to adapt to many food sources. This knowledge allows us to adapt biological control strategies to the specific characteristics of T. parvispinus and increase our chances of success.