Bionomics and management of Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Insecta: Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze in tea plantations of north-eastern India

  • Ramaiyer Varatharajan
  • Somnath RoyEmail author
  • Anjali Km Prasad
  • Ananda Mukhopadhyay
  • Narayanannair Muraleedharan


Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) is a polyphagous and cosmopolitan pest. Its infestation on tea plant has increased considerably in the last few decades as a result of which it has now got established as one of the major sucking pests in the tea-growing areas of north-eastern (NE) India, and the rest of India at large. A number of factors, such as climate change, deforestation, over-reliance on pesticides, coupled with the capability of thrips to sustain and survive in monocultures, high reproductive rate both by parthenogenesis and sexual mode, short generation time, ability to survive as cryptic, quiescent prepupa and pupa and development of resistance to insecticides influence their periodical outbreaks. Tea thrips cause both direct and indirect damage to tea plants by feeding as well as egg laying in tender leaf tissues and buds causing stunted plant growth and significant yield loss. In this review, all available details pertaining to S. dorsalis infesting the tea plants have been summarised in the context of its management.


Scirtothrips dorsalis tea thrips bioecology damage potential management 



Authors thank the Director of the Tea Research Association, (TRA) Jorhat for the encouragement. Thanks are also extended to Entomology Department, Tocklai Tea Research Institute, TRA, Jorhat, Assam; Head, Department of Life Sciences, Manipur University and Entomology Research Unit, Department of Zoology, North Bengal University for providing constant support, necessary information and literature. Thanks are also due to the two unknown referees of the journal and Dr. A. Raman, University of Sydney for critically going through the manuscript and offering good suggestions for the improvement of this paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Supplementary material

42690_2019_28_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


  1. Amin BW (1980) Techniques for handling thrips as vectors of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus and Yellow Spot Virus of groundnut, Arachis hypogea L. Occasional Paper. Groundnut Entomology ICRISAT 80(2):1–20Google Scholar
  2. Ananthakirshnan TN (1984) Bioecology of Thrips. Indira Publishing Company, USA, 233ppGoogle Scholar
  3. Ananthakrishnan TN (1993) Bionomics of thrips. Annu Rev Entomol 38:71–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ananthakrishnan TN (1998) Technology in Biological Control. Science Pub. Inc., New Delhi. ISBN 10: 1578080215; ISBN 13: 9781578080212.Google Scholar
  5. Ananthakrishnan TN, Gopichandran R (1993) Chemical ecology in Thrips – Host plant interactions. Oxford and IBH Publishing company, New Delhi, p 125Google Scholar
  6. Anonymous (2017) Ann Sci Rep, Tea Res. Asso. 2016-17:25Google Scholar
  7. Babu A, James SP, Subramaniam MSR, Shanmughapriyan R, Achuthan R, Mathew S (2008) Enhanced efficacy of Verticillium lecanii against tea thrips by the addition of jaggery. Newsl UPASI Tea Res Found 18(2):3Google Scholar
  8. Bailey F (1945) A revision of genus Scirtothrips Shull (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Hilgardia 13(35):329–362Google Scholar
  9. Ballard E (1921) Helopeltis and its relatives. Planters’ Chron 16:489–491Google Scholar
  10. Ballard R (1984) Fertilization of plantations: In: Bowen GD, Nambiar EKS (eds.) Nutrition of Plantation Forests. Academic Press, London, 327–360Google Scholar
  11. Banerjee B (1987) Can leaf aspect affect herbivory? A case study with tea. Ecol. 68:839–843CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Banerjee B (1992) Botanical classification of tea, Tea: Cultivation to consumption CM. Willson KC. London: Chapman and Hall; p.:25–51Google Scholar
  13. Barthakur BK (2011) Recent approach of Tocklai to plant protection in tea in North east India. Sci Culture. 77:381–384Google Scholar
  14. Bashir MA, Alvi AM, Naz H (2014) Effectiveness of sticky traps in monitoring insects. J Environ Agric Sci. 1:1–2Google Scholar
  15. Bhujel MS, Choubey M, Singh M (2016) Pest and Diseases Management in Darjeeling Tea. Int J Agr Sci. 6(3):469–472Google Scholar
  16. Bian L, Yang PX, Yao YJ, Luo ZX, Cai XM, Chen ZM (2016) Effect of trap color, height, and orientation on the capture of yellow and stick tea thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and nontarget insects in tea gardens. J Econ Entomol.
  17. Buhler DD, Liebman M, Obrycki JJ (2000) Theoretical and practical challenges to an IPM approach to weed management. Weed Sci 48:274–280Google Scholar
  18. Butani DK (1976) Pests and diseases of chillies and their control. Pesticides. 10:38–41Google Scholar
  19. Chen X, Kunshan Y (1987) Pest fauna of tea plant in China and its integrated management In: Proceedings of the International Tea Quality Human health Symposium, November, 1987. Hangzhou, China, pp 154–159Google Scholar
  20. Cranham JE (1966a) Insect and mite pests of tea in Ceylon and their control. In: Monographs on Tea Production in Ceylon, No. 6. The Tea Research Institute of Ceylon, Talawakelle, 122p.Google Scholar
  21. Cranham JE (1966b) Tea pests and their control. Ann Rev Entomol. 11:491–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Das GM (1965) Pest of tea in North-East India and there control (Memorandum No. 27), Tea Research Association, Tocklai Experimental Station, Jorhat, Assam, India.Google Scholar
  23. Das S, Roy S, Mukhopadhyay A (2010) Diversity of arthropod natural enemies in the tea plantations of North Bengal with emphasis on their association with tea pests. Curr Sci. 99:1457–1463Google Scholar
  24. Derksen AI (2009) Host susceptibility and population dynamics of Scirtothrips dorsalis hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on select ornamental hosts in southern florida. University of Florida, Master's thesisGoogle Scholar
  25. Dev HN (1964) Preliminary studies on the biology of the Assam thrips. Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood on tea. Indian J. Entomol. 26:184–194Google Scholar
  26. Dhanapati K, Varatharajan R (2016) Diversity and density of tea pests in the tea gardens Manipur, NE India. J Plant Crops. 44(1):47–51Google Scholar
  27. Dhanapati K, Taptamani H, Loganathan S, Varatharajan R (2010) Evaluation of certain biopesticides (Ecocill & Econeem) against thrips and leaf roller infesting the tea plant. In: Ignacimuthu S, David BV (eds) Non- Chemical Insect Pest Management. Elite Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, pp 132–136Google Scholar
  28. FAO (2016) Report of the working group on climate change of the FAO intergovernmental group on tea. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, pp. 3–25Google Scholar
  29. Ghosh Hazra N (2001) Advances in selection and breeding of tea-a review. J Plant Crops. 29:1–17Google Scholar
  30. Gnanapragasam N (2018) Insect pests of tea: caterpillars and other seasonal, occasional and minor pests. In: Sharma VS, Gunasekare MTK (eds) Global tea science: Current status and future needs. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, Cambridge, UK pp, pp 1–60Google Scholar
  31. Goswami BK (2011) Tea Field Management. Tea Research Association, Tocklai Experimental Station, Jorhat - 785 008, Assam, pp. 204.Google Scholar
  32. Gurusubramanian G, Rahman A, Sarmah M, Roy S, Bora S (2008) Pesticide usage pattern in tea ecosystem, their retrospects and alternative measures. J Environ Biol. 29:813–826Google Scholar
  33. Hazarika LK, Bhuyan M, Hazarika BN (2009) Insect Pests of Tea and Their Management. Annu Rev Entomol 54:267–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Holtz T (2006) Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood: Chilli Thrips. New Pest Advisory Group (NPAG) Report. Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, USDA-APPHIS. USA: USDA-APHIS.
  35. Jacot-Guillarmod CF (1971) Catalogue of the Thysanoptera of the world. Part II. Annals of the Cape Province Museums. Natural History 7:217–515Google Scholar
  36. Kakoty NN (1994) How effective is your spraying. Two Bud. 41:9–11Google Scholar
  37. Keisa TJ (1996) Insect – Plant interaction with reference to Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood and Capsicum annum. Ph. D Thesis submitted to Manipur University. Pp225.Google Scholar
  38. Keisa TJ, Singh OD, Amar Singh S, Varatharajan R (1996) Impact of water pan colour trap and application of neem pesticides on the abundance of Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera) on Capsicum annum L. (Solanaceae). In: Proceeedings of the National Symposium on Integrated Pest management – an entomological approach. (Ed.): Goyal, 6: 105-107.Google Scholar
  39. Kodomari S (1978) Control of yellow tea thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood, in tea field at east region in Shizuoka prefecture. J Tea Res. 48:46–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. MacLeod A, Collins CSL (2006) Report: Pest risk analysis for Scirtothrips dorsalis. Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, UKGoogle Scholar
  41. Mahendran P, Radhakrishnan B (2019) Franklinothrips vespiformis Crawford (Thysanoptera: Aeolothripidae), a potential predator of the tea thrips Scirtothrips bispinosis Bagnall in south Indian tea plantations. Entomon 44(1):49–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mamun MSA, Ahmed M (2011) Integrated pest management in tea: prospects and future strategies in Bangladesh. J Plant Prot Sci 3(3):1–13Google Scholar
  43. Masumoto M, Okajima S (2007) The genus Scirtothrips Shull (Insecta: Thysanoptera: Thripidae) and three related genera in Japan. Zootaxa 1552:1–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Mattson WJ Jr (1980) Herbivory in relation to nitrogen content. Ann Rev Ecol Syst 11:119–161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Mirab-balou M, Tong X, Chen X-X (2014) Thrips species diversity in urban green spaces of Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province), China. J Entomol Acarol Res 46(3):85–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Moritz G, Mound LA, Morris DC, Goldarazena A (2004) Pest thrips of the world – visual and molecular identification of pest thrips. Cd-rom, CBIT, Brisbane. Accessed 27 April 2018
  47. Mound LA (1968) A new species of Scirtothrips from Kenya attacking tea with synonymic notes on two related species. Bull Entomol Res 57:533–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mound LA, Palmer JM (1981) Identification, distribution and host plants of the pest species of Scirtothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Bull Entomol Res 71:467–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mukhopadhyay A, Roy S (2009) Changing dimensions of IPM in the Tea plantations of the Northeastern sub Himalayan region. In: Ramamurthy VV, Gupta GP, Puri SN (eds) Proceeding National symposium IPM Strategies to Combat Emerging Pest in the Current Scenario of Climate Change. Entomology Society of India, IARI, New Delhi, India, pp 290–302Google Scholar
  50. Mukhopadhyay A, Sannigrahi S, Biswas GG (1997) Colonization and Utilization of young tea plants by some insects and mites in Darjeeling foothills, pp.59--69. In Raman,A. (Ed.), Ecology and Evolution of plant feeding insects in natural and man-made environments. International scientific publications, New Delhi and Backhuys Publishers, Leiden.Google Scholar
  51. Muraleedharan N (1988a) Entomology. In Ann. Rep. UPASI Tea Sci. Dept. pp.:26–38Google Scholar
  52. Muraleedharan N (1988b) Final Technical Report of the CSIR Project "Studies on the distribution pattern and biology of the important insect and mite predators and parasites of caterpillars, aphids, thrips and mites infesting tea in South India", UPASI Tea res. Inst., Valparai, p. 80. (Mimeographed).Google Scholar
  53. Muraleedharan N (1991) Pest management in tea. Published by UPASI Tea Research Institute. Valparai, Coimbatore, 130ppGoogle Scholar
  54. Muraleedharan N (2007) Tea insects: ecology and control, pp. 672–674. In: Encyclopedia of Pest Management. CRC Press, London.Google Scholar
  55. Muraleedharan N, Chen ZM (1997) Pests and diseases of tea and their management. J Plant Crops 25(1):15–43Google Scholar
  56. Muraleedharan N, Kandaswamy C (1980) Tea Thrips and their Control. Planteres Chronicle (India), pp. 447–8.Google Scholar
  57. Muraleedharan N, Roy S (2016) Arthropods Pests and Natural Enemies Communities in Tea Ecosystems of India. In: (Eds. By Chakravarthy A.K. and Sridhara S) Economic and Ecological Significance of Arthropods in Diversified Ecosystems: Sustaining Regulatory Mechanisms. (ISBN 978-981-10-1524-3) pp: 361-392
  58. Ng YF, Mound LA, Azidah AA (2014) The genus Scirtothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in Malaysia, with four new species and comments on Biltothrips, a related genus. Zootaxa 3856(2):253–266CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pathak SK, Mukhopadhyay A (2001) Common thrips of Darjeeling –Review of generic name. Two and Bud 48(2):23–24Google Scholar
  60. Prasad AK, Roy S, Neave S, Sarma AJ, Phukan PJ, Rahman A, Muraleedharan N, Mukhopadhyay A (2019) Sticky band trap as an effective device for management of geometrid looper pests of tea plantation of north east India Entomologia Generalis 38(4): (In Press)Google Scholar
  61. Priesner H (1932) Preliminary notes on Scirtothrips in Egypt with key and catalogue of the Scirtothrips of the world. Bull Entomol Soc Egypt, Econ Ser, pp 41–155Google Scholar
  62. Rahman A, Sarmah M, Phukan AK, Roy S, Sannigrahi S, Borthakur M, Gurusubramanian G. (2006) Approaches for the management of tea mosquito bug, Helopeltis theivora Waterhouse (Miridae : Heteroptera). In: Proceedings of 34th Tocklai Conference-Strategies for Quality; 28_30 November 2005; Jorhat: Organized by Tocklai Experimental Station; Tea Research Association p. 146-161.Google Scholar
  63. Rahman A, Pujari D, Barua A, Bora FA, Handique G, Roy S (2014) Biology and feeding preference of Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) infesting tea in northeast India. Two Bud 62(1&2):1–3Google Scholar
  64. Ramakrishna Ayyar TV (1928) Contribution to our knowledge of Thysanoptera of India. Memoirs of the Department of Agriculture, India, Entomology Series, 10(7):251.Google Scholar
  65. Rao VP, Dutta B, Ramaseshiah G (1970) Natural enemy complex of flushworm and phytophagous mites on tea in India. Tea Board, Calcutta 53Google Scholar
  66. Roy S, Gurusubramanian G (2011) Bio-efficacy of azadirachtin content of neem formulation against three major sucking pests of tea in sub-himalayan tea plantation of North Bengal. Agric Tropic et Subtropic 44(3):134–143Google Scholar
  67. Roy S, Muraleedharan N (2014) Microbial management of arthropod pests of tea: current state and prospects. Appl Microbiol Biot 98(12):5375–5386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Roy S, Gurusubramanian G, Nachimuthu SK (2011) Neem based Integrated Approaches for the Management of Tea thrips Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thripidae: Thysanoptera) in Tea. Proc Zool Soc 64(2):72–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Roy S, Rahman A, Muraleedharan N (2013) in. Escaping the chemical pesticide trap: Non chemical management of tea pests in north east India Two Bud 60(2):1–4Google Scholar
  70. Roy S, Handique G, Muraleedharan N (2016a) Pests of Tea: Overview and Possibilities of Integrated Pest Management in Indian tea Scenario. In: (Eds. Bag N, Bag A, Palni LMS). Technology for Tea Improvement: Some initiatives. New India Publishing Agency (NIPA), New Delhi; (ISBN: 978-93-85516-33-7) pp. 123-192Google Scholar
  71. Roy S, Handique G, Muraleedharan N, Dashora K, Roy SM, Mukhopadhyay A, Babu A (2016b) Use of plant extracts for tea pest management in India. Appl Microbiol Biot 100(11):4831–4844CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Saha D (2016a) Biochemical Insecticide Resistance in Tea Pests. In; Insecticides Resistance. Intech.
  73. Saha D (2016b) Host plant-based variation in fitness traits and major detoxifying enzymes activity in Scirtothrips dorsalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), an emerging sucking pest of tea. Int J Trop Insect Sci 36(3):106–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Saha D, Mukhopadhyay A (2013) Insecticide resistance mechanisms in three sucking insect pests of tea with reference to North-East India: an appraisal. Int J Trop Insect Sci 33(1):46–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Saha D, Mukhopadhyay A, Bahadur M (2010) Variation in detoxifying enzymes of Assam thrips, Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) from organically and insecticide managed tea plantations. North Bengal University J Animal Sci 4:45–52Google Scholar
  76. Saha D, Roy S, Mukhopadhyay A (2012) Seasonal incidence and enzyme-based susceptibility to synthetic insecticides in two upcoming sucking insect pests of tea. Phytoparasitica 40:105–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Sannigrahi S, Mukhopadhyay A (1992) Laboratory evaluation of predatory efficiency of Geocoris ochropterus Fieber (Hemiptera: Lygaeidae) on some common tea pests. Sri Lanka J Tea Sci. 61:39–44Google Scholar
  78. Sarkar PK, Somchoudhury AK, Sekh K (2007) Role of predators in management of Oligonychus coffeae Nietner in tea in India. In: The 5th international symposium on biocontrol and biotechnology. November 1–3, 2007 at Khon Kaen University, Nong Khai Campus, Nong Khai, Thailand, 15pGoogle Scholar
  79. Sarmah M, Rahman A, Phukan AK, Gurusubramanian G (2006) Bioefficacy of insecticides in combination with acaricides and nutrients against Helopeltis theivora Waterhouse in tea. Pestic Res J 18:141–145Google Scholar
  80. Sarmiento F (2014) Integrated pest management of western flower thrips. [PhD Dissertation.] Leiden University, Leiden.Google Scholar
  81. Seal DR, Klassen W, Kumar V (2010) Biological parameters of Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood, on selected hosts. Environ Entomol 39:1389–1398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Selvasundaram R, Sasidhar R, Sanjay R, Muraleedharan N (2004) Seasonal abundance of thrips and crop loss in tea. J Plant Crops 32:49–52Google Scholar
  83. Sen S, Pathak SK, Suiam ML (2016) Is the Use of Yellow Sticky Trap Detrimental to Natural Enemy Complex of Tea Pests? American-Eurasian J Agric Environ Sci 16(9):1597–1601Google Scholar
  84. Shanmugapriyan R, Mathew S (2011) Bioefficacy of Metarhizium anisopliae and Derrimax against tea thrips. Newsletter-UPASI Tea Research Foundation 20(1):6Google Scholar
  85. Shanmugapriyan R, Mathew S, Babu A (2010) Bioefficacy of Metarhizium anisopliae on tea thrips. Newsletter-UPASI Tea Research Foundation 21:2Google Scholar
  86. Shumsher S (1944) Studies of some Indian Thysanoptera. Proc Royal Entomol Soc London 13:139–144Google Scholar
  87. Sitanantham S, Varatharajan R, Ballal CR, Ganga Visalakshy PN (2007) Research status and scope for biological control of sucking pests in India: Case study of thrips. J Biol Control 21(Special Issue):1–19Google Scholar
  88. Sud RG, Badyal J (1989) Varietal and seasonal variation in chemical constituents of tea (Camellia sinensis) in Himachal Pradesh. Sri Lankan J Tea Sci 58:73–78Google Scholar
  89. Sudoi V (1985) Effects of rainfall and shade on the incidence of yellow tea thrips (Scirthothrips kenyensis) in Kenya. Tea 6(2):7–12Google Scholar
  90. ThripsWiki (2019) ThripsWiki - providing information on the World's thrips. <> [accessed on 11 April, 2019].
  91. Varatharajan R, Dhanapati K, Singh HC (2007) Thrips fauna from the tea fields of Southern and North-Eastern India. J Plant Crops 35(2):128–129Google Scholar
  92. Varatharajan R, Singh NK, Rachana RR (2018) On the collections of predatory thrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera) from NE India. J Biol Control 32(1):8–13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Watt G, Mann HN (1903) The Pests and Blights of the Tea Plant. Gov. Printing Press, Calcutta, 429 pGoogle Scholar
  94. Yajun Y, Zongmao C, Jianyun R, Liang C, Yongwen J (2005) Tea science progress in new century. Proc. Int. Symp. Innov. Tea Sci. Sust. Dev. Tea Indust, Hangzhou, China, pp 1–20Google Scholar
  95. Yudin LS, Mitchell WC, Cho JJ (1987) Colour preference of thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) with reference to Aphids (Homoptera: Aphididae) and leaf miners in Hawaiian Lettuce farm. J Econ Entomol 8(1):51–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Zhen C, Yihang GE, Xia L, Rongping K (2015) Effect of colored sticky cards on non-target insects. Agric Sci Technol 16:983–987Google Scholar

Copyright information

© African Association of Insect Scientists 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ramaiyer Varatharajan
    • 1
  • Somnath Roy
    • 2
    Email author
  • Anjali Km Prasad
    • 2
  • Ananda Mukhopadhyay
    • 3
  • Narayanannair Muraleedharan
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Entomology, Centre of Advanced Study in Life SciencesManipur UniversityImphalIndia
  2. 2.Department of Entomology, Tea Research AssociationTocklai Tea Research InstituteJorhatIndia
  3. 3.Entomology Research Unit, Department of ZoologyUniversity of North BengalDarjeelingIndia

Personalised recommendations