Thysanoptera: Thrips

(from the Greek: thysanos = fringe + ptera = wing)Thrips

All the members of this order are tiny, narrow insects with short antennae. They are either wingless or have 2 pairs of long narrow wings fringed with long hairs. When at rest, the wings are held flat over the back. Thrips are poor fliers and their flights resemble flea hops. Their mouthparts are not fully developed, and they feed by scraping leaf surfaces and sucking the sap that flows from the wounds. Some thrips are important pests, causing leaf wilt or causing flower buds to drop or to open unevenly. Flower petals may be streaked or browned by thrips damage. Some also spread plant diseases. A few thrips species are beneficial, feeding on fungi and other insects. Thrips are commonly found in flowers and can be seen by hitting the flower petals on a white piece of paper. These insects should be preserved in alcohol.