Gynaikothrips uzeli

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Gynaikothrips uzeli inside damaged Ficus leaf (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Surendra K. Dara and Donald R. Hodel
Source: Journal of Integrated Pest Management 6 (1 - 2), 1-4

Gynaikothrips uzeli (Zimmermann 1900) - (weeping fig thrips)

The thrips is native to southeastern Asia but has spread to Australia, various parts of America and Hawaii. For example, in North America it was first recorded in 2003 on Ficus benjamina in Florida. It causes folded leaf galls on fig trees and the feeding activity inside the galls results in sunken, purple spots.

A number of natural enemies have been reported to attack G. uzeli. In greenhouse trials, the combination of the predatory bugs Orius insidiosus and Montandoniola confusa have reduced gall formation by more than 75%. The latter species is one of several natural enemies introduced into North America against Gynaikothrips ficorum.

The adults are around 3 mm long, brownish black but with white wings and yellowish antennae and tarsi. It closely resembles Gynaikothrips ficorum.

For a review see Dara & Hodel, 2015.