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Development of an efficient trapping system for New Zealand flower thrips, Thrips obscuratus




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