Onion thrips, Thrips tabaci Lindeman, are an economic pest of alliums worldwide. In Ontario onion-growing regions, seasonal abundance and population trends of onion thrips are not well known. The objectives of this research were to investigate onion thrips population dynamics by using both white sticky traps and plant counts, to gain insight into flight height, and to determine the genus and sex of thrips fauna present in monitored fields. Adult thrips were captured on white sticky traps placed in two commercial onion fields in the Thedford-Grand Bend Marsh region as early as mid-May in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Thrips were not recorded on onion plants in these fields until late June and early July. A comparison of sticky trap captures to plant counts revealed a strong, positive correlation, indicating that sticky traps, which consistently detected thrips earlier than plant counts, could be used instead of plant counts early in the season to monitor onion thrips populations. Pole traps placed in onion and an adjacent soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr., field revealed that regardless of crop type, most thrips were captured 0.7–0.95 m above the soil surface. During this study, 70% of 137,000 thrips captured on sticky traps and 89% of 1,482 thrips captured in pan traps were female onion thrips. No male onion thrips were identified in this study; most of the remaining thrips were Frankliniella spp.
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Vol. 98 • No. 6