Scirtothrips aurantii

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Scirtothrips aurantii adult female (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Laurence Mound, ANIC, CSIRO
Source: PaDIL

Scirtothrips aurantii Faure 1929 - (South African citrus thrips)

This species of thrips is a pest of citrus, mango and other horticultural crops in Africa. In particular, it feeds on young leaves and developing citrus fruits, causing silvering on the leaves and blemishes on the rind. The damage can be substantial and reduce citrus yield.

The species is invasive in northern Australia, but so far is only found on plants of the genus Bryophyllum. In fact, it can be considered a beneficial biocontrol agent of the weed Bryophyllum delagoense in Australia. This suggests that the species status of S. aurantii from different host plants needs clarification.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Zitrusblasenfuss
• English: South African citrus thrips
• Français: thrips sud-africain des agrumes

Although it feeds on young developing fruits, there is apparently only a small risk that it will spread with ripe citrus fruits. It could, however, spread with citrus seedlings. Control is done with insecticides. The adults are less than 1 mm and light yellowish.