• biological control;
  • HIPVs;
  • Thrips palmi;
  • Thysanoptera;
  • Thripidae;
  • Y-tube olfactometer;
  • release and recapture experiment;
  • Heteroptera;
  • Anthocoridae


The predator Orius sauteri (Poppius) (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) is an effective arthropod natural enemy of thrips, especially Thrips palmi Karny (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), a serious pest of vegetables. First, we studied O. sauteri's response to the odour from thrips-infested eggplant [Solamum melongena L. (Solanaceae)] in a laboratory by two-choice experiments using a Y-tube olfactometer. When detached eggplant leaves were used as odour sources, O. sauteri preferred the volatiles from uninfested leaves to clean air. Concerning preferences among differently infested leaves, O. sauteri preferred the volatiles from plants infested with 10–100 thrips per leaf to uninfested leaves, but showed no significant preference for artificially damaged leaves over uninfested leaves. Similar results were obtained when complete plants were tested as the odour source. Second, release and recapture experiments in a greenhouse, a more realistic set of conditions, were conducted to confirm whether a significant preference for infested plants occurred at similar infestation levels as in the laboratory. Trends favouring infested plants were detected at densities of five and 500 thrips per plant; however, at the five thrips per plant, this trend was due to the large deviation seen in infested plants in only one replicate. In light of the low tolerable thrips density of eggplant, it is necessary to confirm whether artificial treatments with chemicals induce the emission of herbivore-induced plant volatiles that can attract O. sauteri and prolong its residence time on the leaf.