Author: Mark Hoddle

In December 2004, Neohydatothrips burungae was collected from avocado trees in San Diego California during a survey for avocado lace bug, Pseudacysta perseae (Hemiptera: Tingidae). Neohydatothrips burungae has been collected from avocados in Mexico and Guatemala by Hoddle (Hoddle et al., 2002). In Mexico and Guatemala this thrips was as common as avocado thrips, Scirtothrips perseae, in areas of intermediate altitude. In colder high altitude areas S. perseae dominated, almost exclusively, and in warmer more humid lowland areas N. burungae was dominant on avocados. Neohydatothrips burungae has also been collected in large numbers from mangoes in Nayarit, suggesting this thrips may be more polyphagous than S. perseae. With a hand lens, N. burungae is very similar looking in color and size to S. perseae and without specialized training PCA’s and growers would not be able to easily separate the two if collected together in the field. When this work was conducted it was unknown how widespread N. burungae was on California grown avocados or how common this thrips is in comparison to the widespread and pestiferous S. perseae. Consequently, a survey through all major avocado growing areas in California was undertaken to survey for N. burungae to determine its distribution and abundance.