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How to Manage Pests:

Pest Management and Identification

Sixspotted thrips

Scientific name: Scolothrips sexmaculatus

Life stages of sixspotted thrips Adult Feeding on a mite Nymph attacking spider mite

Click on image to enlarge

Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Thysanoptera
Family: Thripidae

Common prey: Predaceous on phytophagous mites

Commercially available: No


Thrips are tiny, 2-3 mm (less than 1/8 inch) in length, slender insects with long fringes on the margins of their wings. Thrips undergo incomplete metamorphosis, have multiple generations per year, and can be phytophagous or predaceous. Sixspotted thrips adults can be distinguished from other species by the three dark spots on each wing cover of the mostly pale-yellow adult. Nymphs are translucent white to yellow and difficult to discern from other thrips species. Adults and larvae are entirely predaceous, feeding most commonly on mites such as the European red mite, cyclamen mite, and Tetranychus spp. spider mites. Sixspotted thrips can rapidly reduce high mite populations, but often don't become numerous until after mites have become abundant and damaging.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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