Host preference of thrips (thysanoptera) associated with weeds and onions on the southern high plains



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Thrips species composition and their host preference for onions and eight common weed species were studied in onion fields on the Southern High Plains in Texas. Eleven thrips species were collected, and Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) was the most abundant in both 1989 (57.1 °/o) and 1990 (99.5°/o). Thrips tabaci Lindeman was present in abundance (40.4°/o) in 1989; however, only two specimens were collected in 1990. Thrips tabaci exhibited a strong preference for Allium cepa L. Frankliniella occidentalis did not exhibit a preference for A. cepa but rather, in 1989, exhibited preference for Salvia sp., Amaranthus palmeri Wats, and Kochia scoparia (L.) Schard., 1n descending order of preference, and in 1990 exhibited a preference for K. scoparia in only one field. Immature thrips exhibited a strong preference for A. cepa in 1989 and in 1990 exhibited a preference toward the weeds. This indicates that the immatures collected in 1989 were probably T. tabaci; whereas, those collected in 1990 were probably F. occidental is, since they followed similar preference patterns as the respective adults.



Thrips -- High Plains (U.S.), Onions -- Diseases and pests