By Clint Thompson
A new thrips species is wreaking havoc on pepper plants in Florida. Its impact in Georgia remains an unknown.
Stormy Sparks, University of Georgia (UGA) Extension vegetable specialist, discussed Thrips (T.) parvispinus during the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in January
“It’s going to be a wait and see. It’s like Thrips palmi when it showed up in South Florida probably 15 years ago. We anticipated it coming in here and being a problem, but we haven’t seen any yet,” Sparks said. “This one is more widely distributed around the world. It could probably survive in our environment. But it’s a wait and see. It has caused some pretty severe problems in some pepper fields. It’s in ornamentals and a variety of things. It’ll be a wait and see.”
Sparks said T. parvispinus has a wide host range and will inflict damage to pepper and eggplant.
The adult females can be distinguished from other similar thrips species. The abdomen is black or dark brown with white intersegmental membranes. The thorax is yellowish brown and lighter than the abdomen. All of the leg segments are light colored.
If Florida growers suspect T. parvispinus in their crop, they are encouraged to contact either Anna Meszaros at email@example.com or Craig Frey at firstname.lastname@example.org for sampling and confirmation.