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

Fu, Buli, Li, Qiang, Qiu, Haiyan, Tang, Liangde, Zeng, Dongqiang, Liu, Kui, Gao, Yulin
Arthropod-plant interactions 2019 v.13 no.3 pp. 441-452
Thrips hawaiiensis, bananas, beans, biological control, corolla, diet, fecundity, feeding preferences, foods, honey, host plants, insect pests, integrated pest management, laboratory experimentation, longevity, mangoes, oviposition, pods, pollen, predator-prey relationships, rearing, tea
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.