Two aspects of the within-plant distribution of Thrips tabaci Lindeman (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on onion, Allium cepa L., plants were investigated: 1) diurnal variations in the distribution of adults and larvae between basal and upper sections of onion leaves, and 2) between-leaf and within-leaf distribution of the eggs. The diurnal investigations showed that higher proportions of larvae than of adults congregated at the basal sections of plants, particularly when plants were young and thrips density was low. As plants matured and thrips density increased, the larvae became more dispersed. Regardless of plant size, there were always more adults in the upper than basal plant sections. There were no clear time-windows during the 24-h diurnal cycle when more thrips were in the upper plant parts. T. tabaci eggs were laid everywhere in the plant. Leaves of intermediate ages had more eggs than older or younger leaves. Within leaves, the white leaf sheath received the least eggs and leaf tips received slightly more eggs than leaf sheaths. The highest egg density was found between the green leaf base and the leaf tips. Regardless of plant size, more than half of all eggs were laid above the basal sections. The percentage increased to >95% in mature plants. Except when plants were small the outer leaves were preferred over inner leaves and upper leaf sections preferred over lower leaf sections as egg-laying sites by adults. Implications of the results in the management of T. tabaci are discussed.
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Vol. 101 • No. 4