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Populations of North American bean thrips, Caliothrips fasciatus (Pergande) (Thysanoptera : Thripidae : Panchaetothripinae) not detected in Australia

  • Author(s): Hoddle, M S
  • Stosic, C D
  • Mound, L A
  • et al.

Caliothrips fasciatus is native to the USA and western Mexico and overwintering adults are regular contaminants in the 'navel' of navel oranges exported from California, USA to Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. Due to the long history of regular interceptions of C. fasciatus in Australia, a survey for this thrips was undertaken around airports, seaports, public recreational parks and major agricultural areas in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to determine whether C. fasciatus has successfully invaded Australia. Host plants that are known to support populations of C. fasciatus, such as various annual and perennial agricultural crops, urban ornamentals and weeds along with native Australian flora, were sampled for this thrips. A total of 4675 thrips specimens encompassing at least 76 species from a minimum of 47 genera, and three families were collected from at least 159 plant species in 67 families. Caliothrips striatopterus was collected in Queensland, but the target species, C. fasciatus, was not found anywhere. An undescribed genus of Thripidae, Panchaetothripinae, was collected from ornamental Grevillea (var. Robyn Gordon) at Perth (Western Australia) Domestic Airport, and is considered to be a native Australian species. This survey has provided valuable information on the background diversity of thrips species associated with various native and exotic plant species around major ports of entry and exit for four of five states in Australia. We suggest that the major reason C. fasciatus has not established in Australia is due to high adult mortality in navels that are kept at low storage temperatures (2.78 degrees C) during an 18- to 24-day transit period from California to Australia.

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