Gynaikothrips ficorum (Cuban laurel thrips)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Animals
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marchal, 1908)
Preferred Common Name
- Cuban laurel thrips
Other Scientific Names
- Gynaikothrips flavus Ishida, 1931
- Haplothrips blesai Plata, 1973
- Leptothrips flavicornis Bagnall, 1909
- Leptothrips reticulatus Karny, 1912
- Liothrips bakeri Crawford, 1910
- Mesothrips bakeri Karny, 1912
- Mesothrips ficorum (Marchal)
- Phloeothrips ficorum Marchal, 1908
- Smerinthothrips bakeri (Crawford)
International Common Names
- English: laurel thrips
- Portuguese: lacerdinha
- GYNAFI (Gynaikothrips ficorum)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Thysanoptera
- Family: Phlaeothripidae
- Genus: Gynaikothrips
- Species: Gynaikothrips ficorum
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
The body is about 2.5 to 2.8 mm long, and is mainly black in colour, with the median antennal segments, fore tibiae, and distal part of mid- and hind tibiae and all tarsi yellow; the forewings are usually clear without dark markings, and the major setae pale in colour.
The head is about 300 µm long, about 1.3 times as long as wide, with the eyes about one third of the head length. The major postocular setae are pointed, but are variable in length and the median dorsal setae are sometimes as long as the postoculars. The antennae are 8-segmented, with one sense cone on segment III and three sense cones on segment IV.
The pronotum is transverse, and the surface bears many lines of sculpture that form characteristic swirls laterally. Of the five pairs of major pronotal setae characteristically found in thrips of the family Phlaeothripidae, usually only the epimeral setae are elongate in this species. The metanotum is weakly reticulate, and the forewings are parallel-sided with about 18 duplicated cilia on the distal posterior margin. The fore tarsus bears a small tooth, but this is sometimes difficult to see in small females.
The abdominal tergite I, the pelta, is triangular with reticulate sculpture. Each abdominal tergite bears two pairs of sigmoid wing-retaining setae, and the tube is longer than the head.
Smaller than the female, with the fore tarsal tooth very small. Tergite IX sub-median pair of setae is shorter than the median pair, in contrast to the female.
These live in association with the adults in the rolled-leaf galls. They are yellow in colour and typical of this family in structure.
DistributionTop of page
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 17 Feb 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Germany||Present||Original citation: zur (1977)|
|Netherlands||Present||Original citation: Mantel et al., 1988|
|Costa Rica||Present||Original citation: Mound & Marullo, 1996|
|United States||Present||Present based on regional distribution.|
|Australia||Present||Original citation: Mound & Gillespie, 1996|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Present|
|-Rio de Janeiro||Present|
|-Rio Grande do Sul||Present|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / abnormal forms|
|Leaves / abnormal leaf fall|
|Leaves / external feeding|
|Leaves / leaves rolled or folded|
|Leaves / necrotic areas|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
In California, G. ficorum populations within leaf galls reach a maximum during summer, and again during winter (Paine, 1992). New galls were formed from midsummer through to the autumn. Development time from egg to adult ranged from 16 days at 30°C to nearly 50 days at 15°C. Slow rates of leaf expansion in winter and spring presumably limited the successful induction of new galls during this period. Similarly, in Sichuan, southern China, this thrips does not become active until the temperature reaches 18°C in spring or early summer, damage being most severe in mid- to late August when the temperature rises to 30°C, with five to six generations occurring each year (Hong and Men, 1987).
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Macrotracheliella nigra||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs|
|Montandoniola moraguesi||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs||Bermuda; Hawaii||Ficus|
|Orius albidipennis||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs|
|Termatophyllum insigne||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Nymphs|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
ImpactTop of page
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
About 35 species are placed in the genus Gynaikothrips, but many of these cannot be recognised using the published literature. In particular, the common South-East Asian species G. uzeli is frequently confused with G. ficorum, and Mound et al. (1996) suggest that G. ficorum may be an inbred strain that has been distributed by the world-wide horticultural trade in Ficus plants.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
On the small, shrubby cultivars of Ficus microcarpa, it is standard gardeners' practice to pick and burn all infested leaves, and to prune the bushes to promote the growth of fresh, healthy leaves (Hong and Men, 1967; Loche et al., 1984; Pelikan, 1991). This technique is not possible on trees, however.
The most successful attempts at biological control of this thrips have employed the anthocorid bug Montandoniola moraguesi. This has been used in Hawaii (Denmark, 1967), Sardinia (Loche et al., 1984) and Bermuda (Bermuda Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, 1981).
As G. ficorum and their eggs hide within leaf galls, systemic insecticides and fumigants should be used.
In Egypt, demeton-S [superseded] was the most effective pesticide for control of G. ficorum, followed by amidithion [superseded], formothion and dimethoate (Soliman et al., 1969). In Sardinia, Italy, both pyrethrins and synthetic pyrethroids (deltamethrin, resmethrin and permethrin) gave effective control (Loche et al., 1984). In the southern states of the USA, container-grown nursery stock and hedges of Ficus microcarpa were treated with a range of insecticides, as sprays or soil-applied granules. Chlorpyrifos, bendiocarb, acephate and permethrin gave good control; chlorpyrifos was the most rapid acting (Reinert, 1983).
Plant spikes containing fertilizer alone or combined with an insecticide (for example aldoxycarb), which have long been available to private householders, have now been developed for use with pot-grown plants in commercial nurseries (Parrella et al., 1986; McConnell and Short, 1986).
ReferencesTop of page
Ananthakrishnan TN; Muraleedharan N, 1974. Studies on the Gynaikothrips-Liophlacothrips-Liothrips complex from India. Oriental Insects, Supplement 4.
Ananthakrishnan TN; Sen S, 1980. Taxonomy of Idian Thysanoptera. Zool Surv. India, Handbook. Ser. 1.
Antonatos SA; Kapaxidi EV; Papadoulis GT, 2011. Adactylidium gynaikothripsi n. sp. (Acari: Acarophenacidae) associated with Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marshal) (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) from Greece. International Journal of Acarology, 37(Suppl. 1):18-26. http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/taca20
Awadallah KT; Tawfik MFS; El-Husseini MM; Afifi AI, 1986. Bio-cycle of the termatophilid predator Termatophyllum insigne (Reuter) reared on major insect pests of stored drug materials. Bulletin de la Societe Entomologique d'Egypte, No. 66:35-41
Childers CC; Achor DS; 1995; Thrips feeding and oviposition injuries to economic plants, subsequent damage and host responses to infestation. In: Parker BL, et al., eds. Thrips Biology and Management. New York, USA: Plenum Press.
del Canizo J, 1945. II. Redescripcion de Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marchal) y concepto actual del genero Gynaikothrips Zimmermann, nuevo parala fauna continental europea (Thysanoptera, Phloeothripidae). Eos, 21(2):123-156.
Denmark HA, 1967. Cuban-laurel thrips, Gynaikothrips ficorum, in Florida. Entomology Circular, No. 59.
Halperin J; zur Strassen R, 1981. Thysanoptera of Forest and ornamental woody plants in Israel with a list of the species recorded from Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology, 15:21-23.
Han Yun-fa, 1996. Economic Insect Fauna of China. Fasc 55, Thysanoptera. Beijing, China: Science Press, in press.
Hong CM; Men YH, 1987. Preliminary observation on the laurel thrips and its control. Sichuan Gardons, No 6:53-54.
Ishida M, 1931. Fauna of the Thysanoptera in Japan. Part II. Insecta Matsumurana, 6(1):32-42.
Jacot-Guillarmod CF; Brothers DJ, 1986. Catalogue of the Thysanoptera of the world, Part 7. Ann. Cape Prov. Mus. Nat.Hist., 17(1):1-93.
Lewis T, 1973. Thrips - Their Biology, Ecology and Economic Importance. Department of Entomology, Rothamsted Experimental Station Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England. London, UK; New York, USA: Academic Press.
Loche P; Piras S; Piseddu V; Podda P, 1984. Contribution to the knowledge of Gynaikothrips ficorum March. (Thysanoptera, Tubulifera), a thrips dangerous to Ficus retusa Desf. in Sardinia: trends in control. Difesa delle Piante, 7(3):153-160
Mound LA; Morison GD; Pitkin BR; Palmer JM, 1976. Handbooks for the identification of British insects. Vol. 1, part 11. Thysanoptera. Handbooks for the identification of British insects. Vol. 1, part 11. Thysanoptera. Royal Entomological Society of London. London UK, 79 pp.
Ortiz PM, 1972. Contribution to the knowledge of the Thysanoptera (Insecta) of Lima. Sociedad Entomologica del Peru: Proceedings of the First Laatin-American Congress of Entomology, Cuzco, Peru, 12th -18th April 1971. Revista Peruana de Entomologia, 15:83-91.
Paine TD, 1992. Cuban laurel thrips (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) biology in southern California: seasonal abundance, temperature dependent development, leaf suitability, and predation. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 85(2):164-172
Paine TD; Malinoski MK; Robb KL, 1991. Reducing aesthetic injury or controlling insect populations: dilemma of insecticide use against Cuban laurel thrips (Thysanoptera: Phloeothripidae) in landscape-grown Ficus. Journal of Economic Entomology, 84(6):1790-1795
Parker BL, et al. , 1995. Thrips Biology and Management. New York, USA: Plenum Press.
Parrella, et al. , 1986. Plant spikes for commercial nurseries. California Agriculture, 40(9-10):6-7.
Priesner H, 1926. Die Jugendstadien der Malayischen Thysanopteren. Treubia Vo1. VIII Supplement.
Priesner H, 1960. A monograph of the Thysanoptera of the Egyptian deserts. Publs Inst. Desert Egypte., 13.
Reinert JA, 1973. Cuban laurel thrips: systemic insecticides for control. Journal of Economic Entomology, 66(5):1217-1218.
Reinert JA, 1983. Controlling Cuban laurel thrips in nurseries and landscapes. American Nurseryman, 157(8):63-66.
Soliman AA, et al. , 1969. Susceptibility of Gynaikothrips ficorum March. to some systemic insecticides (Thysanoptera). Bull. Ent. Soc. Egypt, Econmic-Series, 3:113-119.
Tree DJ; Walter GH, 2009. Diversity of host plant relationships and leaf galling behaviours within a small genus of thrips - Gynaikothrips and Ficus in south east Queensland, Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology, 48(4):269-275. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/aen
Vasantharaj BD; Ananthakrishnan TN, 1973. Studies on the second instar larvac of Indian gall thrips. PP.30 Pls 11. Occasional Publication No.3 of the Ent. Research Unit.
Vierbergen G, 1995. International movement, detection and quarantine of Thysanoptera pests. In: Parker BL, Skinner M, Lewis T, eds. Thrips Biology and Management: proceedings of the 1993 International Conference on Thysanoptera. London, USA: Plenum Publishing Co. Ltd, 119-132.
Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.
zur Strassen R, 1977. Internationales Forschungsprojekt Makaronsischer raum. Studie zur Fruhjahrsfauna der Fransenflugler auf den Madeira-inseln im Atlantik nebst Daten zur Abundanz und Faunistik (Insecta: Thysanopotera). Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal, No.31(Art.134):5-78.
zur Strassen R, 1994. Some reflections on the composition of the thrips fauna (Insecta: Thysanoptera) of Bali (Indonesia) along the biogeographical Bali-Lombok line. Sondordruck aus CFS-Courier, 178:33-48.
Antonatos S A, Kapaxidi E V, Papadoulis G T, 2011. Adactylidium gynaikothripsi n. sp. (Acari: Acarophenacidae) associated with Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marshal) (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) from Greece. International Journal of Acarology. 37 (Suppl. 1), 18-26. http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/taca20 DOI:10.1080/01647954.2010.531763
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated b. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Denmark HA, 1967. Cuban-laurel thrips, Gynaikothrips ficorum, in Florida. In: Entomology Circular, No. 59,
Han Yun-fa, 1996. Economic Insect Fauna of China . Fasc 55, Thysanoptera., Beijing, China: Science Press.
Jacot-Guillarmod CF, Brothers DJ, 1986. Catalogue of the Thysanoptera of the world, Part 7. In: Ann. Cape Prov. Mus. Nat.Hist. 17 (1) 1-93.
Priesner H, 1960. A monograph of the Thysanoptera of the Egyptian deserts. In: Publs Inst. Desert Egypte, 13.
Tree D J, Walter G H, 2009. Diversity of host plant relationships and leaf galling behaviours within a small genus of thrips - Gynaikothrips and Ficus in south east Queensland, Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology. 48 (4), 269-275. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/aen DOI:10.1111/j.1440-6055.2009.00706.x
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