• 6-pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one;
  • ethyl nicotinate;
  • trap height;
  • phenology;
  • monitoring;
  • detection



New Zealand flower thrips (NZFT), Thrips obscuratus (Crawford), is an economic pest of various horticultural crops in New Zealand and is recognised as a quarantine pest globally. Two chemical attractants (ethyl nicotinate and 6-pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one), three dispensers, three trap designs and four trap heights were investigated to determine the most effective method for monitoring NZFT. Phenology of NZFT at two locations was compared.


6-Pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one in a polyethylene bag dispenser was the most attractive lure formulation and exhibited high stability in release rate trials. There was no difference in NZFT catch between vertical-panel and cross-panel traps, but both caught significantly more than delta traps. However, both types of panel trap had unacceptably high by-catch of native insects. Catch of thrips increased with height from 0 to 3 m. Phenology of NZFT showed similar population trends at both locations, but with a timing difference of around 50 days.


Delta traps containing 6-pentyl-2H-pyran-2-one in a polyethylene bag at 2 m above the ground is the recommended method for monitoring NZFT, significantly improving the sensitivity, accuracy and labour input compared with prior methods. Long-term monitoring of NZFT could lead to more accurate economic damage thresholds and timing for when to apply insecticides. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry