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1 March 2015 Thrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera) of Guadeloupe and Martinique: Updated Check-List with New Information on Their Ecology and Natural Enemies
Jean Etienne, Philippe Ryckewaert, Bruno Michel
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A list of 91 species of thrips from Guadeloupe and Martinique, including 28 new records, is provided. New data on the ecology of some species and additional records of parasitoids and predators of thrips are given. A list of plants is provided on which populations of thrips have been observed, in some cases, with the presence of immature stages and/or thrips feeding damage.

So far, the thrips (Thysanoptera) fauna of Guadeloupe and Martinique is known to comprise 64 species in 45 genera (Bournier 1993, 1995; Mound & Marullo 1996; Michel et al. 2008; Michel & Ryckewaert 2014). Most of these species are found on spontaneous vegetation and are not of economic importance. But a limited number of thysanopteran species have been or still are crop pests. On banana Frankliniella parvula Hood causes occasionally damage of economic importance. Hercinothrips femoralis (Reuter) was an important pest but since the late 1990s its populations decreased and its importance has been substantially reduced. On the contrary, Elixothrips brevisetis (Bagnall), recorded for the first time in 1996, is now found regularly in the banana plantations and is considered to be a major pest. In recent years, the economic incidence of Chaetanaphothrips orchidii (Moulton) decreased considerably. This species is always present on the plants but very rarely observed. The importance of 2 other species of the same genus, C. leeuweni (Karny) and C. signipennis (Bagnall), cited as banana pests in the literature (Bournier 1984; Delattre & Torregrossa 1978; Simon 1990) is now negligible. With respect to vegetable and floral crops, Thrips palmi Karny, introduced to Guadeloupe and Martinique in 1985, was a very important pest of several crops (melon, cucumber, chili pepper and eggplant) (Denoyes et al. 1986; Etienne & Waetermeulen 1989; Etienne et al. 1990; Guyot 1988), but its populations decreased considerably during the past 15 years and its economic importance is now limited. Thrips tabaci Lindeman regularly causes damage to cultivated Alliaceae (onion, garlic and leek) particularly during periods without rain. Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) damaged Chrysanthemum and rose production in greenhouses over the years. It presence was linked to the importations of Chrysanthemum plants from Europe. Production of this floral crop has ceased and F. occidentalis, which did not acclimatize has virtually disappeared from the French West Indies. Since 2007 Holopothrips tabebuia Cabrera & Segarra has been a serious pest of ornamental trees of the genus Tabebuia, particularly T. heterophylla (Michel et al. 2008).

Regarding the parasitoids and predators of thrips, 2 species of Hymenoptera Trichogrammatidae (Delvare 1993), 6 species of Acari Phytoseiidae (Kreiter & Moraes 1997) and 1 species of Hemiptera Anthocoridae (Pluot-Sigwalt et al. 2009) were known from Guadeloupe.

This publication deals with the species of thrips, their ecology and their natural enemies in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

Materials and Methods

The list of thrips presented below includes all the species already mentioned from Guadeloupe and Martinique by several authors (Bournier 1993, 1995; Mound & Marullo 1996; Michel et al. 2008; Michel & Ryckewaert 2014) and the new records resulting from a survey carried out during more than 20 years. Thrips collecting was performed by visual observation or using a mouth-pooter (aspirator), sweep net or beating sheet. A Berlese funnel was used to collect thrips living in mosses. The parasitoids were obtained from rearing the host species. Predatory behavior was observed in natura. The natural enemies were identified by specialists cited in the text. The nomenclature adopted is available on the website ThripsWiki (2014).

During this survey, thrips were collected on numerous plant species. But, considering the definition of host plants given by Mound (2013) as well as the available information, we mention here only the plants on which thrips populations have been noticed — in some cases — with the presence of immature stages or thrips damage. The threshold we set to consider the thrips population as significant was 5 individuals collected on the same date on the same plant species in the same locality. The plants were identified using the Flora of Guadeloupe and Martinique (Fournet 2002).

Each specimen was mounted between a slide and cover slip, and all are kept in the CIRAD-CBGP collection, Montferrier-sur-Lez, France.



New records for Guadeloupe and Martinique or new ecological information are indicated by an asterisk.

  • Aeolothripidae

    • -Franklinothrips vespiformis (Crawford). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Stomatothrips septenarius Hood. Martinique.

  • Heterothripidae

    • -Heterothrips decacornis Crawford. Guadeloupe.

    • -*Heterothrips sericatus Hood. Martinique.

  • Thripidae - Panchaetothripinae

    • -Anisopilothrips venustulus (Priesner). Guadeloupe, first record from Martinique.

    • -*Arachisothrips millsi Stannard. Guadeloupe, obtained from mosses.

    • -Caliothrips insularis (Hood). Martinique.

    • -*Copidothrips octarticulatus (Schmutz). Martinique.

    • -Dinurothrips hookeri Hood. Guadeloupe, first record from Martinique.

    • -Dinurothrips vezenyii Bagnall. Guadeloupe.

    • -Elixothrips brevisetis (Bagnall). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis (Bouché). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Hercinothrips femoralis (Reuter). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Parthenothrips dracaenae (Heeger). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -*Retithrips syriacus (Mayet). Guadeloupe.

    • -Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Giard). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

  • Thripidae - Thripinae

    • -Arorathrips mexicanus (Crawford). Martinique

    • -*Arorathrips spiniceps (Hood). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Aurantothrips orchidaceus (Bagnall). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Ceratothripoides brunneus Bagnall. Guadeloupe.

    • -Chaetanaphothrips leeuweni (Karny). Guadeloupe, Martinique

    • -Chaetanaphothrips orchidii (Moulton). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Chaetanaphothrips signipennis (Bagnall). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Coremothrips pallidus Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -Corynothrips stenopterus Williams. Guadeloupe

    • -*Cricothrips trinidadensis (Hood). Guadeloupe, from mosses.

    • -Danothrips trifasciatus Sakimura. Martinique.

    • -Dendrothripoides innoxius (Karny). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Echinothrips americanus Morgan. Guadeloupe.

    • -Echinothrips caribeanus Hood. Guadeloupe, first record from Martinique.

    • -*Frankliniella borinquen Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -*Frankliniella breviseta Moulton. Guadeloupe.

    • -Frankliniella brunnea (Priesner). Martinique.

    • -Frankliniella bruneri Watson. Guadeloupe.

    • -Frankliniella cephalica (Crawford). Guadeloupe.

    • -Frankliniella difficilis Hood. Martinique.

    • -Frankliniella fusca (Hinds). Martinique.

    • -Frankliniella insularis (Franklin). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -*Frankliniella kelliae Sakimura. Guadeloupe.

    • -Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Frankliniella parvula Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -Frankliniella rostrata Priesner. Guadeloupe.

    • -Frankliniella williamsi Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -Fulmekiola serrata (Kobus). Guadeloupe.

    • -Microcephalothrips abdominalis (Crawford). Martinique.

    • -*Pseudothrips inequalis (Beach). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Rhamphothrips pandens Sakimura. Guadeloupe

    • -*Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -Trichromothrips xanthius (Williams). Guadeloupe.

    • -Thrips palmi Karny. Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Thrips simplex (Morison). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Thrips tabaci Lindeman. Guadeloupe, Martinique.

  • Thripidae - Dendrothripinae

    • -Asprothrips bimaculatus Michel & Ryckewaert. Martinique.

    • -Leucothrips furcatus Hood. Guadeloupe.

  • Thripidae - Sericothripinae

    • -*Hydatothrips sternalis (Hood). Martinique.

    • -Hydatothrips tricinctus (Hood). Guadeloupe.

    • -Neohydatothrips portoricensis (Morgan). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Neohydatothrips signifer (Priesner). Guadeloupe.

  • Phlaeothripidae - Idolothripinae

    • -*Bactrothrips sp. nec hesperus (Moulton). Guadeloupe.

    • -Diceratothrips bicornis Bagnall. Guadeloupe.

    • -Elaphrothrips jacotguillarmodi Johansen. Guadeloupe.

    • -Ethirothrips sp. Guadeloupe.

    • -Gastrothrips abditus Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -Gastrothrips anolis Morgan. Guadeloupe.

    • -*Nesothrips lativentris (Karny). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Nesothrips minor (Bagnall). Guadeloupe. Associated to Palmaspis palmae (Hemiptera, Asterolecanidae) on Eleis guineensis.

    • -Ophthalmothrips longisetis Bournier. Guadeloupe.

  • Phlaeothripidae - Phlaeothripinae

    • -Adraneothrips alternatus Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -Aleurodothrips fasciapennis (Franklin). Guadeloupe. *Recorded with Cardiococcus umbonatus Cockerell (Coccidae) on Mammea americana (Clusiaceae), with Chrysomphalus aonidum (Linnaeus) (Diaspididae) on Cycas revoluta (Cycadaceae), with Ichnaspis longirostris (Signoret) (Diaspididae) and Palmaspis palmae (Cockerell) (Asterolecaniidae) on Elaeis guineensis (Arecaceae) and with Unaspis citri (Diaspididae) on Citrus aurantiifolia (Rutaceae). This species is a predator of immature stages of scaleinsects and whitefly (Palmer & Mound 1991). It was already cited by Bournier (1993) from Guadeloupe but with no information on the Hemiptera prey.

    • -Bamboosiella cingulata (Hood). Guadeloupe.

    • -Docessissophothrips bonfilsi Bournier. Guadeloupe.

    • -*Dolichothrips indicus (Hood). Guadeloupe.

    • -Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marchal). Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -*Gynaikothrips uzeli (Zimmermann). Guadeloupe.

    • -Haplothrips gowdeyi (Franklin). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Holopothrips ananasi Costa Lima. Guadeloupe.

    • -Holopothrips inquilinus (Bournier). Guadeloupe.

    • -Holopothrips sp. Guadeloupe. *Associated with psyllids in rolled leaves of Gesneria ventricosa (Gesneriaceae).

    • -*Holopothrips tabebuia Cabrera & Segarra. Guadeloupe, Martinique.

    • -Holopothrips tenuis Hood. Guadeloupe. *Associated to Apodiplosis sp. (Diptera, Cecidomiidae) in galls on Psychotria mapourioides (Rubiaceae).

    • -Hoplothrips polypori Bournier. Guadeloupe.

    • -Karnyothrips flavipes (Jones). Guadeloupe. *Associated to Ceroplastes sp. (Hemiptera, Coccidae) on Podranea ricasoliana (Bignioniaceae).

    • -*Karnyothrips merrilli (Watson). Guadeloupe. Known as a scaleinsects predator (Palmer & Mound 1991).

    • -Karnyothrips rhopalocerus (Hood). Guadeloupe.

    • -*Leptothrips sp. aff. obesus Johansen. Guadeloupe. Species of Leptothrips are known to be predacious on mites (Mound & Marullo 1996). But, according to Wiesenborn (2012) L. fasciculatus's anthophilous behavior contradicts the predation generalized for the genus.

    • -Liothrips brasiliensis Moulton. Martinique.

    • -Liothrips brevicornis Hood. Guadeloupe.

    • -Menothrips ebriosus Hood. Martinique.

    • -Strepterothrips rostratus Bournier. Guadeloupe.

    • -*Symphyothrips punctatus Hood & Williams. Guadeloupe.

    • -*Williamsiella sp. (apterous form). Guadeloupe. From mosses on trunk of Calophyllum calaba.



  • Hymenoptera - Eulophidae (G. Delvare det.)

    • - Ceranisus sp. Guadeloupe. Parasite of Retithrips syriacus on Lagerstroemia speciosa (Lythraceae)

    • - Goetheana parvipennis (Gahan). Guadeloupe. Obtained from Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Giard).

    • - Thripastichus gentilei (Del Guercio). Guadeloupe. Obtained from Gynaikothrips uzeli. - Thripoctenus javae Girault (= Thripobius semiluteus Boucèk). Guadeloupe. Obtained from Retithrips syriacus. This parasitoid can provide a very efficient control of R. syriacus in particular on Bucida buceras and Lagestroemia speciosa.


  • Hemiptera - Anthocoridae (J. Carayon det.)

    • - Orius insidiosus (Say). Guadeloupe, Martinique. Larvae and adults are very efficient in the control of Thrips palmi on eggplant and cucurbits.

    • - Lasiochilus pallidulus Reuter. Guadeloupe. Preys on different species of thrips including T. palmi.

  • Thysanoptera - Aeolothripidae

    • - Franklinothrips vespiformis (Crawford). Guadeloupe, Martinique. Adults and larvae are commonly collected in T. palmi outbreaks on eggplant and cucurbits. Bournier (1993) mentions the presence of F. vespiformis on Ipomea batatas damaged by Dendrothripoides innoxius (Karny). *Also found on banana plants preying on Elixothrips brevisetis.

  • Diptera - Dolichopodidae (C.E. Dyte det.)

    • - Trypticus violaceus Van Duzee. Guadeloupe.

    • - Chrysotus sp. (only ♀♀ collected). Guadeloupe. Adults of both species were observed capturing larvae of T. palmi on the leaves of eggplants.

  • Coleoptera - Coccinellidae (C. Duverger det.)

    • - Cycloneda sanguinea (Linnaeus). Guadeloupe, Martinique. Adults and larvae are predators of all the developmental stages of T. palmi.

  • Araneae - Theridiidae (M. Emerit det.)

    • - Theridula gonygaster (Simon). Guadeloupe. Observed preying an undetermined thrips species.

  • Acari - Blattisociidae (G.J. de Moraes det.)

    • - Aceodromus convolvuli (Muma). Guadeloupe. Predator of T. palmi.

  • Acari - Cunaxidae (S. Kreiter det.)

    • - Cunaxa sp. Predator of T. palmi. Guadeloupe.

  • Acari - Phytoseiidae (G.J. De Moraes det.)

    • - Amblyseius herbicolus (Chant). Guadeloupe. Predator of T. palmi.


We did not include all plant species in Table 1 from which thrips were collected. However we did include some plant species for which the data are insufficient to establish that these species support the reproduction and successful development of a species of thrips; hence, they may not be reproductive hosts of thrips. We considered that when several thrips individuals of the same species are found on the same plant on the same date, then there can be a consequence of this relationship between the thrips species and the plant species. Even if this plant species cannot be strictly considered to be a host plant because the thrips species is not known to reproduce and develop on it, the thrips species benefits by feeding on the plant. This information can be of interest, for instance, to implement alternative cropping systems or ecological studies.


Most thysanopteran species reported from Guadeloupe and Martinique were already known from the Neotropical region and/or the U.S.A. However, 3 species have a different origin. Ceratothripoides brunneus was known from West Africa. Nesothrips minor is widely recorded from Mauritius and Reunion to India, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand, Fiji and Hawaii (ThripsWiki 2014). Asprothrips bimaculatus most probably has been introduced from Asia but its origin remains unknown; Mirab-Balou collected it in China (pers. comm.).

Including the 28 species of Thysanoptera mentioned for the first time from Guadeloupe and Martinique, the thrips fauna of these French Over seas Departments now comprises 91 species in 59 genera. Among these species 57 are recorded only from Guadeloupe, 15 are recorded only from Martinique and 19 are recorded from both islands. Such a difference between the faunal compositions is probably a direct result of the more intensive surveys performed during a longer period in Guadeloupe than in Martinique.

Table 1.

Plants from which thrips have been collected (* = predators; D = feeding damage; L = larva; Pp = propupa; P = pupa; ♂/♂♂, ♀,♀ = low/high (at least 5 individuals) population of males and females.






Until now only 9 species of natural enemies of thrips were known from Guadeloupe and no species was known from Martinique (Delvare 1993; Kreiter & Moraes 1997; Pluot-Sigwalt et al. 2009). The inventory presented above comprises 6 species of parasitoids and 17 species of predators of thrips including insects, mites and spiders, recorded for the first time from Guadeloupe and Martinique. Most of the observations related to thrips predation in Guadeloupe and Martinique concern Thrips palmi whose populations are often efficiently controlled by the joint actions of several beneficial species. Likewise the outbreaks of Gynaikothrips uzeli are also frequently limited by Thripastichus gentilei together with Montandoniola confusa.

The plants listed in Table 1 are plants from which thrips have been collected. They are not necessarily host-plants as defined by Mound (2013) because in most cases it is not known if thrips species reproduce on them. However, this list includes plant species on which thrips populations have been noticed with—in some cases—the presence of both sexes and/or immature stages and observation of feeding damage. Most of the plants in Table 1 are of economic importance, cover plants or weeds and the presence of thrips populations can be of significant interest, for instance in the framework of integrated pest management programs.

Generally speaking, the economic importance of thrips has changed considerably since the early 2000's. Some species previously considered as major pests are now of low economic importance. This change in status is probably a consequence, at least partly, of significant reduction of the use of pesticides, which has favored beneficials and field biodiversity in general. Competition or displacement between species is also another possibility, as H. femoralis and E. brevisetis for example. But, at the same time, the incidence of other species that damage crops and ornamental plants has persisted or increased. It follows from this that improving the knowledge of the thrips species associated with natural or anthropized ecosystems is of significant interest in implementing alternative cropping systems.


We wish to acknowledge our late colleagues J. P. Bournier (CIRAD, Montpellier), J. Carayon (MNHN, Paris), C. Duverger and C. E. Dyte (British Museum of Natural History, London) for their kind collaboration in insect identification. We are grateful to G. Delvare (CIRAD, Montpellier), G. J. De Moraes (University of Sao Paulo, Piracicaba), M. Emerit (UM2, Montpellier), J. Gutièrrez (IRD, Montpellier), and S. Kreiter (SupAgro, Montpellier) for the identifications of thrips species and for providing relevant information. We thank D. Marival (INRA, Antilles-Guyane) for his contribution to plant identifications and Mirab-Balou, (Ilam University, Illam, Iran) for the information on Asprothrips bimaculatus.

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Jean Etienne, Philippe Ryckewaert, and Bruno Michel "Thrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera) of Guadeloupe and Martinique: Updated Check-List with New Information on Their Ecology and Natural Enemies," Florida Entomologist 98(1), 298-304, (1 March 2015).
Published: 1 March 2015

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