Pest thrips of Eastern Africa - identification and information based on LucID 3.5.
The diversity of thrips in east Africa is quiet obscure. Climatic changes, extensive commodity exchanges and urban influences, however, lead to significant shifting of this diversity of thrips. Invasive, adaptive and highly reproductive thrips species impact significantly on agricultural production and marketing. Besides their feeding activity, thrips also vectors Tospoviruses which significantly impact crop productivity. With this multivariate and user friendly identification software based on LucID 3.5 it is possible to check native plants as well as export crops (eggplants, bananas, cotton, flowers, beans, cereals, coffee, cocoa, maize, lucerne, tea, tomatoes, citrus fruits) effectively of invasive, tospovirus vectors and quarantine thrips species like Frankliniella occidentalis, Scirtothrips dorsalis, Thrips palmi etc. The successful identification allows the development of specific Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies including the use of natural enemies (parasitoids, entomopathogenic fungi, nematodes, predatory insects). The key contains nearly 100 species illustrated by approximately thousand original microscopic pictures, which were created with Leica Montage software. Every species is described by a comprehensive and uniform data fact sheet with detailed information about biology, reproduction, taxonomic position, genus description and complete information to all species specific character states including related or similar species. Furthermore there is information available on the pest state, control strategies, geographic distribution using GPS data and extension to Google maps followed by an extensive specific bibliography and useful web links.