Oviposition, feeding preference, and biological performance of Thrips hawaiiensis on four host plants with and without supplemental foods

  • Buli Fu
  • Qiang Li
  • Haiyan Qiu
  • Liangde Tang
  • Dongqiang Zeng
  • Kui LiuEmail author
  • Yulin GaoEmail author
Original Paper


Thrips hawaiiensis is a polyphagous flower-inhabiting insect pest that causes considerable damage to numerous plants worldwide. However, not much is known about the interaction between this thrips species and its host plants. In the present study, laboratory experiments were performed to determine the oviposition and feeding preferences and compare the biological performance of T. hawaiiensis on four host plants with and without supplemental foods. In the choice tests, when compared with mango and tea petals and bean pods, the T. hawaiiensis population showed stronger oviposition and feeding preferences for banana petals. Under laboratory conditions, the T. hawaiiensis population reared on banana petals showed a significantly faster development, longer lifespan, and higher survival and fecundity levels than the populations reared on the other three host plants. Diets with supplemental foods (honey solution or tea pollen) reduced the developmental time, prolonged the longevity and enhanced the fecundity of T. hawaiiensis compared with banana petals alone. These findings indicate that the banana flower is an optimal host to increase the T. hawaiiensis population and suggest that additional foods, such as honey solution or tea pollen, are beneficial to the population performance of this species. More importantly, knowledge of the benefits of supplemental foods on predator–prey interactions and their potential use in biological control programs are also discussed. Overall, the present study improves our understanding of the ecological features of T. hawaiiensis and provides useful information on the interaction of T. hawaiiensis and its host plants. In the future, these contributions can help establish a better integrated pest management (IPM) control program for thrips.


Thrips hawaiiensis Host plant Behavior preference Biology Supplemental foods IPM 



This research was supported by the Special Fund for Basic Scientific Research of Central Public Research Institutes of China (Grant Nos. 2016hzs1J007 and 1630042017010), and partly supported by the Earmarked Fund for China Agriculture Research System (Grant No. CARS-32-04) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2017YFD0202). We would thank reviewers for their constructive comments and valuable suggestions for this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ministry of Agriculture Key Laboratory of Integrated Pest Management of Tropical Crops, Environment and Plant Protection InstituteChinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural SciencesHaikouChina
  2. 2.Guangxi Key Laboratory Cultivation Base of Agro-Environment and Agro-ProductGuangxi UniversityNanningChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory for Biology of Plant Diseases and Insect Pest, Institute of Plant ProtectionChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina

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