Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 1997
Paper No. 128
Business Phone: 561-746-3740
Program Section: Vegetables
THRIPS, a Computerized Knowledgebase for the Identification and Management of Thrips Infesting Vegetables in
the United States.
G. Frantz, and H. C. Mellinger
Glades Crop Care, Inc.
949 Turner Quay
Jupiter, FL 33458
Department of Entomology and Nematology
IFAS, University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Abstract A computerized knowledgebase was developed to enable vegetable producers, field technical staff,
extension personnel, and other non-entomologists to identify the species of economically important thrips infesting
vegetable crops. Thrips infest a wide variety of vegetable crops annually throughout the U.S. They damage
produce by their direct feeding and egglaying activities, and reduce crop vigor and productivity through
transmission of tomato spotted wilt virus. The software includes details of thrips biology and economic importance,
and species-by-species management guidelines. Graphic and textual identification keys are presented, which guide
the user through the necessary steps to identify common thrips species either in the field or in the laboratory.
Information is also provided on monitoring and management techniques as well as collecting and preservation
Vegetable growers in all parts of the U.S. annually face the risk of crop damage or loss to thrips. This risk has
increased over the years with the introduction of new pest species, either by movement of infested plant material or
by natural migration. Introduced thrips pests can cause devastating losses, such as those suffered when Thrips
palmi Karny invaded Homestead, FL in 1990-91, and thus require early detection and appropriate treatment.
Movement of the thrips-borne disease, tomato spotted wilt virus, into vegetable crops is a threat and knowledge of
the thrips species infesting susceptible crops is a valuable first step in disease man