Identification of the Klambothrips myopori (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) predator complex in California.
To identify the predator complex of the invasive thrips, Klambothrips myopori, on its ornamental host plant Myoporum laetum, field surveys were conducted at three sites in southern California over the period of 1 y. Five insect orders and five spider families were represented in the survey. Although the most abundant groups differed among collection sites, syrphid larvae, anthocorids, Chrysoperla spp., Franklinothrips orizabensis Johansen (Thysanoptera: Aeolothripidae), and one spider family (Salticidae) were all collected at each site. Based on the field surveys, Orius spp. and Chrysoperla spp. were identified as possible key natural enemies of K. myopori. Laboratory studies were then conducted to determine the consumption rates of Orius insidiosus Say (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae) and Chrysoperla rufilabris Burmeister (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) at constant densities of K. myopori and to define the functional responses of the predators. Both predators consumed more second-instar larvae than other prey stages. Orius insidious displayed a type II functional response, while C. rufilabris displayed both type II and type III depending on prey stage. Generally speaking, O. insidiosus and C. rufilabris consumed a higher proportion of prey at lower pest densities, implying that in an augmentative control program using these commercially available natural enemies, predators could be released early in the year when host plants begin to flush and thrips populations are low to suppress population growth.