|scientific name Gynaikothrips ficorum |
common name Cuban Laurel Thrips
Ficus microcarpa, (Moritz et al 2001).
The body is dark brown while apices of the tibiae and the tarsi are yellow. Antennal segments 3 to 5 are yellow, segment 6 is yellow but shaded at the apex, and segment 7 is shaded distally. The distal margins of the forewings are shaded, though the rest of the wing is pale. The head is longer than wide, and the anterior ocellus is raised higher than the base of the antennae. Postocular setae are present, vary in length and number, and have blunt apices. The antennae are 8 segmented with 1 sense cone on antennal segment 3, and 3 sense cones on segment 4. The pronotum has strongly developed lines of sculpture that have a swirling shape, and the epimeral setae are long (Moritz et al 2001).
This species of thrips causes the leaves of its host plant to form leaf-roll galls. These galls are often home to large assemblages of insects including parasitoids, and predators of G. ficorum (Mound and Marullo 1996). While Ficus benjamini is listed as a host plant, G. ficorum only breeds on Ficus microcarpa, and records of this species appearing on F. benjamini may be due to misidentifications of the species of thrips or plant (Moritz et al 2001).
Annoying when in large populations (Moritz et al 2001); also considered a pest (Collins 1993).
Feeds on foliage (Chiasson 1986).
Widespread in the tropics and sub-tropics. This species has been distributed around the world by the distribution of plant material by the horticultural trade. (Moritz et al 2001).
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