Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Scirtothrips dorsalis
(chilli thrips)



Scirtothrips dorsalis (chilli thrips)


  • Last modified
  • 29 March 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Scirtothrips dorsalis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • chilli thrips
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Top of page
TitleAdult male
CopyrightYu Yan-Fen
Adult maleYu Yan-Fen
S. dorsalis almost white on emergence, turning yellowish subsequently.
TitleAdult female
CaptionS. dorsalis almost white on emergence, turning yellowish subsequently.
CopyrightYu Yan-Fen
S. dorsalis almost white on emergence, turning yellowish subsequently.
Adult femaleS. dorsalis almost white on emergence, turning yellowish subsequently.Yu Yan-Fen
Damage symptoms on mandarin fruits.
TitleCrop damage
CaptionDamage symptoms on mandarin fruits.
CopyrightElizabeth Asteraki/CABI SEARC
Damage symptoms on mandarin fruits.
Crop damageDamage symptoms on mandarin fruits.Elizabeth Asteraki/CABI SEARC
TitleAdult female - line drawing
CopyrightChen Rui-jin
Adult female - line drawingChen Rui-jin


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood 1919

Preferred Common Name

  • chilli thrips

Other Scientific Names

  • Anaphothrips andreae Karny 1925
  • Heliothrips minutissimus Bagnall 1919
  • Neophysopus fragariae Girault 1927
  • Scirtothrips padmae Ramakrishna 1942

International Common Names

  • English: assam thrips; castor thrips; strawberry thrips; yellow tea thrips
  • French: thrips jaune du théier

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Nordindischer Tee-Blasenfuss
  • Japan: tya-na-kiiro-azamiuma

EPPO code

  • ANAPFR (Neophysopus fragariae)
  • SCITDO (Scirtothrips dorsalis)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Thysanoptera
  •                         Family: Thripidae
  •                             Genus: Scirtothrips
  •                                 Species: Scirtothrips dorsalis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Scirtothrips dorsalis is a widespread pest, described as a new species by Hood in 1919 from 34 females collected in India on castor and chillies and subsequently recorded by Ramakrishna Ayyar (1928) and Shumsher Singh (1944). Bailey (1945) and Priesner (1932), in their work on Scirtothrips, mention S. dorsalis as a distinct species. Mound (1968) recognized Heliothrips minutissimus from Bombay as the same species, and Jacot-Guillarmod (1971) also lists Anaphothrips andreae and S. dorsalis var. padmae as synonyms. The strawberry thrips S. fragariae from Australia was also recognized as S. dorsalis after studying Girault's material, as well as other material by Mound and Palmer (1981).

Scirtothrips oligochaetus, which has been regarded by several authors as the same species as S. dorsalis, has been recognized as a distinct valid species. In S. oligochaetus, which is sympatric with S. dorsalis in India, the tergal antecostal ridges of the female are pale and the tergal microtrichial fields bear four discal setae. However, in both species the sternites bear one or many rows of microtrichia medially, although the metanotal sculpture appears to differ slightly between them (Mound and Palmer, 1981).

An identification system, fully illustrated with photomicrographs of structural details, together with a molecular method for distinguishing this species from related species, is provided by Moritz et al. (2004). Hoddle and Mound (2003) provided keys to 21 species of Scirtothrips from Australia, and the full synonymy of S. dorsalis together with references is available at:

The most recent information on S. dorsalis, including host range, distribution and methods of control, is available through the website:


Top of page Egg

Typically oval, whitish to yellowish, narrow anteriorly, incubation period 4-6 days.


First instar
Larva transparent; body short, legs longer; antennae short, swollen; mouth cone bent and short; and antennae seven-segmented and cylindrical. Sclerotization not distinct, head and thorax, reticulate.

Second instar
Antennae longer, cylindrical, seven-segmented; mouth cone longer; maxillary palpi three-segmented; body setae longer than the first instar; head and thorax reticulate with sclerotization of head.


Yellowish; antennae swollen, short, with distinct segmentation; two pairs of external wing buds on each meso- and meta-thorax.


Dark yellow with eyes and ocelli bearing red pigmentation; wing buds are elongate; antennae short and reflected over the head; female pupae with larger pointed abdomen, that of male smaller, with blunt abdomen.


Almost white on emergence, turning yellowish subsequently; abdominal tergites with median dark patch, tergites and sternites with dark antecostal ridge; ocellar setae pair III situated between posterior ocelli; 2 pairs of median post-ocular setae present; pronotum with four pairs of posteromarginal setae, major setae 25-30 µm long; metanotum medially with elongate recticles or striations, arcuate in anterior third, median setae not at anterior margin; forewing first vein with three setae distally, second vein with two setae, posteromarginal cilia straight; tergal microtrichial fields with 3 discal setae, VIII and IX with microtrichia medially; sternites with numerous microtrichia, more than two complete rows medially; male without drepanae on tergite IX (Palmer and Mound, 1983).


Top of page S. dorsalis is a highly polyphagous pest widespread between Pakistan, Japan, the Solomon Islands and Australia, but it is now established in South Africa, Israel, the Caribbean and Florida (USA).

See also CABI/EPPO (1998, No. 142).

Distribution Table

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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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


BangladeshPresentNativeCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Brunei DarussalamPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
CambodiaAbsent, unreliable recordEPPO, 2014
ChinaRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-AnhuiPresentEPPO, 2014
-FujianPresentEPPO, 2014
-GuangdongWidespreadCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-GuangxiPresentChen et al., 2010; EPPO, 2014
-HainanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-HenanPresentEPPO, 2014
-Hong KongPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-HunanPresentEPPO, 2014
-JiangsuPresentEPPO, 2014
-JiangxiPresentEPPO, 2014
-SichuanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-YunnanPresentEPPO, 2014
-ZhejiangPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
IndiaWidespreadCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Andhra PradeshPresentRamakrishna Ayyar & Subbiah, 1935; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-AssamPresentDev, 1964; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-ChhattisgarhPresentVikas et al., 2005; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-DelhiPresentRaizada, 1965; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-GoaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-GujaratPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-HaryanaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Himachal PradeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014; Kaomud and Vikas, 2014
-Jammu and KashmirPresentAbrol et al., 2006
-KarnatakaPresentAnanthakrishna & Sen, 1980; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-KeralaPresentRamakrishna Ayyar & Margabandhu, 1931; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Madhya PradeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-MaharashtraPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-ManipurPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-OdishaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-RajasthanPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Tamil NaduPresentAnanthakrishnan, 1969; Ananthakrishnan, 1971; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Uttar PradeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-West BengalPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
IndonesiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-JavaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-SulawesiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-SumatraPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
IranPresentMinaei et al., 2015Jahrom, Fars province
IsraelWidespreadCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
JapanWidespreadCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-HonshuPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-KyushuPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Korea, Republic ofPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
MalaysiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
MyanmarPresentNativeAPPPC, 1987; Waterhouse, 1993; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
PakistanPresentNativeCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
PhilippinesPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Sri LankaPresentNativeCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
TaiwanPresentNativeCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
ThailandPresentNativeAPPPC, 1987; Waterhouse, 1993; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
VietnamPresentLe et al., 2008; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014


Côte d'IvoireRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
KenyaAbsent, unreliable recordEPPO, 2014
South AfricaAbsent, invalid recordIPPC, 2007; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
UgandaPresentEPPO, 2014

North America

USARestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-FloridaRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-GeorgiaPresentDiffie and Srinivasan, 2010
-HawaiiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-TexasPresentIntroducedHoltz, 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

BarbadosPresentIntroducedCollins et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
JamaicaPresentIntroducedCollins et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Puerto RicoPresentIntroducedCabrera-Asencio and Ramirez, 2007; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Saint LuciaPresentIntroduced2004 Invasive Seal and Ciomperlik, 2004; Collins et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010; Mathurin, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresentIntroducedSeal and Ciomperlik, 2004; Collins et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Trinidad and TobagoPresent, few occurrencesIntroducedCollins et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014

South America

SurinamePresentCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedCollins et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014


AustriaAbsent, no pest recordEPPO, 2014
BelgiumAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
NetherlandsAbsent, confirmed by surveyNPPO of the Netherlands, 2013; EPPO, 2014
UKPresent, few occurrencesIPPC, 2009; EPPO, 2014
-England and WalesPresent, few occurrencesEPPO, 2014


AustraliaRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-Australian Northern TerritoryRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-New South WalesRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
-QueenslandRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Papua New GuineaPresentNativeCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014
Solomon IslandsPresentNativeCABI/EPPO, 2010; EPPO, 2014

Risk of Introduction

Top of page S. dorsalis already has a very wide distribution between Pakistan and the Pacific. Apparently, since 2000 it has been introduced to Israel and the Caribbean area including Venezuela, and in late 2005 it was found to be established in Florida, USA. It is causing severe problems in all of these areas. It must be considered a serious quarantine risk to many other countries, including those in southern Europe and the USA on field and tree crops and in the cooler areas of both Europe and North America on greenhouse crops.

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page S. dorsalis is recorded from more than 100 plant species in 40 families, although the original wild host plants were probably Acacia species. In India this thrips is particularly important on chillies (Ramakrishna Ayyar, 1932; Ramakrishna Ayyar and Subbiah, 1935; Chakraborti, 2004), although in recent years it has become a commercial problem on cultivated roses (Duraimuragan and Jagadish, 2004). Amin (1979, 1980) records S. dorsalis as a pest of Arachis, and it is also serious on Ricinus, and in southern India it has been reported damaging both cassava and taro (Rajamma et al., 2004). In Bangladesh it is recorded from Mangifera, and it sometimes causes damage to this crop in northern Australia. In Malaysia, S. dorsalis is sometimes a pest on leaves of Hevea and has been found in large numbers on Mimosa pudica. In Thailand this species was collected on sacred lotus (Nelumbo), although some came from orange, beans and roses (Mound and Palmer, 1981). In Taiwan (Chang, 1991) it is recorded damaging mango, citrus, sugar apple, tea, peppers and groundnuts; it is also a serious pest of lotus (Wang et al., 1999). In Java, long series were collected at Bogor Botanic Gardens on young tender leaves of Brownea, in flowers of Saraca minor, and on Acacia leaves. In southern China, where it is known as the yellow tea thrips, it causes damage to the shoots of litchi (Li et al., 2004). In Japan, S. dorsalis is regarded as a pest of citrus (Tatara and Furuhashi, 1992) and tea (Kodomari, 1978), as it is in India (Dev, 1964). S. dorsalis occurs as a pest of grapevines in Japan and India (Miyahara et al., 1976), and since 2000 it has become a pest of vines in Venezuela. In Goa S. dorsalis has been recorded on cashew (Sundararaju, 1984) and also on onion (Thiramurthi et al., 1989). On the West Indian islands of St Vincent and St Lucia a wide range of vegetable crops are reported to be damaged, particularly Capsicums but including aubergine, squash, cucumber, cantaloupe, watermelon, pumpkin, bean and tomato (Seal and Ciomperlik, 2004).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Abelmoschus esculentus (okra)MalvaceaeMain
Acacia auriculiformis (northern black wattle)FabaceaeMain
Acacia browniiFabaceaeMain
Actinidia deliciosa (kiwifruit)ActinidiaceaeMain
Allium cepa (onion)LiliaceaeMain
Allium cepa (onion)LiliaceaeMain
Allium sativum (garlic)LiliaceaeMain
Alternanthera sessilis (sessile joyweed)AmaranthaceaeWild host
Amaranthus (amaranth)AmaranthaceaeOther
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeMain
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)AnnonaceaeOther
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)FabaceaeMain
Asparagus officinalis (asparagus)LiliaceaeMain
Beta vulgaris (beetroot)ChenopodiaceaeMain
Camellia sinensis (tea)TheaceaeMain
Capsicum (peppers)SolanaceaeOther
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeMain
Capsicum frutescens (chilli)SolanaceaeMain
Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)CucurbitaceaeOther
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)RutaceaeMain
Citrus sinensis (navel orange)RutaceaeMain
Colocasia esculenta (taro)AraceaeOther
Cucumis melo (melon)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucurbita pepo (marrow)CucurbitaceaeMain
Dahlia pinnata (garden dahlia)AsteraceaeMain
Dimocarpus longan (longan tree)SapindaceaeMain
Diospyros kaki (persimmon)EbenaceaeMain
Fagopyrum esculentum (buckwheat)Main
Fragaria (strawberry)RosaceaeMain
Fragaria ananassa (strawberry)RosaceaeMain
Fragaria chiloensis (Chilean strawberry)RosaceaeMain
Glycine max (soyabean)FabaceaeMain
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeMain
Gossypium hirsutum (Bourbon cotton)MalvaceaeMain
Helianthus annuus (sunflower)AsteraceaeMain
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Hydrangea (hydrangeas)HydrangeaceaeMain
Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato)ConvolvulaceaeMain
Lablab purpureus (hyacinth bean)FabaceaeMain
Litchi chinensis (lichi)SapindaceaeOther
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeMain
Manihot esculenta (cassava)EuphorbiaceaeOther
Melilotus indica (Indian sweetclover)FabaceaeMain
Mimosa (sensitive plants)FabaceaeMain
Mimosa pudica (sensitive plant)FabaceaeOther
Morus (mulberrytree)MoraceaeMain
Nelumbo luteaMain
Nelumbo nucifera (sacred lotus)NelumbonaceaeMain
Nelumbo nucifera (sacred lotus)NelumbonaceaeOther
Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan)SapindaceaeMain
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco)SolanaceaeMain
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit)PassifloraceaeMain
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)FabaceaeMain
Populus deltoides (poplar)SalicaceaeMain
Portulaca oleracea (purslane)PortulacaceaeMain
Prunus persica (peach)RosaceaeMain
Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeMain
Pyrus (pears)RosaceaeMain
Ricinus communis (castor bean)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Ricinus communis (castor bean)EuphorbiaceaeMain
Rosa (roses)RosaceaeOther
Rubus (blackberry, raspberry)RosaceaeMain
Solanum (nightshade)SolanaceaeMain
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeMain
Solanum melongena (aubergine)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)SolanaceaeMain
Syzygium samarangense (water apple)MyrtaceaeMain
Tamarindus indica (Indian tamarind)FabaceaeMain
Vigna radiata (mung bean)FabaceaeMain
Vitis (grape)VitaceaeMain
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeMain
Zea mays subsp. mays (sweetcorn)PoaceaeMain
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)RhamnaceaeMain

Growth Stages

Top of page Flowering stage, Fruiting stage, Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage


Top of page As is typical of species in the genus Scirtothrips, eggs are laid in the youngest tissues of plants, and feeding by adults and larvae can result in extensive cell damage to these developing tissues, leading to leaf and fruit distortion, and flower fall.

A serious pest on castor, S. dorsalis infests shoots, leaves, flowers and young fruits. The growing tips, particularly the young leaves and axillary leaf branches, are the main targets of attack. The infested plant parts turn brown to black and in extreme cases there is total deformation and defoliation. Although infestation occurs throughout the year, it peaks during drier months.

On chillies S. dorsalis causes 'leaf curl disease'. The pest occurs in such large numbers that the young leaves shrivel; heavy infestation of the tender shoots, buds and flowers causes the leaves to curl badly and the leaves are shed, fresh buds becoming brittle, subsequently dropping down. The damage is essentially due to the retardation, and in some cases to the complete cessation, of the physiological functions of the leaves (Ramakrishna Ayyar and Subbiah, 1935). Ramakrishna Ayyar (1932) recorded this species as a major pest in southern India causing the so-called 'Murda disease', or dying back, of the young seedlings. S. dorsalis causes damage to almost any soft part of the plant particularly in the shoots and leaves. Damage ranges from the slight disruption of the tissues to total deformation and disruption. The growing tip of the plant and young leaves, especially the axillary leaves, are the main points of attack. The damage is due to continuous sucking of the cell sap, leading to necrosis of the cell tissues. Eggs are also laid inside the soft tissues and the larvae leave large circular holes causing deformation of plant parts. As a result the plants may remain stunted due to the defoliation and deformation of the leaves. Leaf curl disease is called 'mudatha' (leaf curl) or 'korivi' when the plant presents a stag-headed appearance (burnt faggot).

Dev (1964) recorded S. dorsalis on tea causing damage to buds, young leaves, tender shoots and occasionally to older leaves. The injured tissues turn brown and as a result of feeding in more or less continuous lines on the buds, marks appear as sand-paper lines in the epidermis of leaves. In acute infestations, the growth of the shoot is arrested, the leaves remain small, hard and brittle, and the affected leaves become crinkled and curly, and fall from the plant.

Heavy infestation of cotton plants at the early seedling stage, in particular the cotyledons and other young leaves, results in the leaves becoming brittle and falling prematurely. S. dorsalis is also evident in mixed cropping of cotton, chillies and onion. The incidence and infestation of this species in different ecological conditions in cotton fields is also known (Ananthakrishnan, 1969, 1971, 1984).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Growing point / dead heart
Growing point / distortion
Growing point / external feeding
Inflorescence / fall or shedding
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / abnormal forms
Leaves / abnormal leaf fall
Leaves / external feeding
Leaves / wilting
Whole plant / distortion; rosetting
Whole plant / dwarfing
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

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In India, where the life cycle has been studied particularly, females start ovipositing on Ricinus 3-5 days after emergence, and the total number of eggs laid ranges from 40 to 68. The life cycle is completed in 15-20 days, and the sex ratio is 6:1 females to males. On chillies, a single female lays 2-4 eggs per day for a period of about 32 days. The prepupa lasts for 24 hours and the pupa 3-5 days. Pupation takes place in the axils of leaves, in leaf curls and under the calyces of flower and fruits. In the Guntur area of India, S. dorsalis appears in two distinct periods: in the nurseries in August-September, when it is not serious, and from the third week of November to March.

S. dorsalis is a vector of Groundnut chlorotic fan-spot virus, Groundnut yellow spot virus and Tobacco streak virus.

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aduncothrips asiaticus Predator Adults/Larvae
Carayonocoris indicus Predator Adults/Larvae
Franklinothrips megalops Predator Adults/Larvae
Geocoris ochropterus Predator Adults/Larvae
Mymarothrips garuda Predator Adults/Larvae
Orius maxidentex Predator Adults/Larvae
Scolothrips indicus Predator Adults/Larvae

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Studies on natural enemies are recorded mainly from India, including the following reports. Franklinothrips megalops is a common predator of S. dorsalis on castor plants, each larva consuming 4-5 thrips a day. Erythrothrips asiaticus, a highly seasonal species, is also a predator on S. dorsalis, along with Mymarothrips garuda (Ananthakrishnan, 1984). The predaceous species Scolothrips indicus feeds on the larvae of S. dorsalis (Raizada Usha, 1965). Geocoris ochropterus is also reported as a potential predator of S. dorsalis (Sannigrahi and Mukhopadhyay, 1992). In Japan, parasitism of larval S. dorsalis at rates of up to 52% by the trichogrammatid, Megaphragma sp. have been recorded on grapes (Shibao et al., 2000).


Top of page Chillies suffer badly through heavy infestation by S. dorsalis of the tender shoot, buds and flowers. S. dorsalis is responsible for leaf curl disease of chillies. Heavy infestation causes the leaves to curl badly and the leaves to be shed, fresh buds become brittle and subsequently fall. During bad seasons, 25-55% of the total yield is lost (Ramakrishna Ayyar, 1932; Ramakrishna Ayyar and Subbiah, 1935).

Prevention and Control

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Chemical Control

Suitable measures for the control of S. dorsalis on chillies include dusting or spraying with fenitrothion or malathion. The application of phosalone (Nandihalli and Thontadarya, 1986) and permethrin (Sanap and Nawale, 1987) were effective in reducing the population of S. dorsalis. The most recent information on chemical control is available through the website:

Host-Plant Resistance

Host-plant resistance studies are limited to work in India with chillies. The basis of resistance in four chilli cultivars tested appeared to be biochemical factors that impart specific response modulation the thrips (Gopichandran and Ananthakrishnan, 1996). A specific pattern of variation was evident in the population build-up in young, mature and senescent stages and the variations were also consistent in terms of varietal choice. Infestation induced a change in the profile of phenolic acids and flavonoids, and gallic acid was a predominant fraction in the resistant cultivars, substantiating its role in resistance to S. dorsalis. Of 308 accessions of chilli germplasm, only 17 were found to be promising in providing resistance to leaf curl resulting from thrips feeding damage (Babu et al., 2002).

Cultural Control

Inter-cropping chilli with tomatoes was found to increase the yield of chillies and to reduce the populations of S. dorsalis on this crop (Manjunatha et al., 2001).


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Abrol DP; Ramamurthy VV; Srivastava K, 2006. Bean gall weevil and blister beetle as new pests on red kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) in India. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 9(4):317-320.

Amin BW, 1979. Leaf fall disease of chilly and pepper in Maharashtra, India. Pans, 25:131-134.

Amin BW, 1980. Techniques for handling thrips as a vectors of Tomato Spotted Welt and Yellow Spot Virus of groundnut, Arachis hypogea L. Occasional Paper Groundnut Entomology ICRISAT, 80(2):1-20.

Ananthakrishnan TN, 1969. Indian Thysanoptera. CSIR Zoology Monograph No.1. New Delhi, India: CSIR.

Ananthakrishnan TN, 1971. Thrips in agriculture, horticulture and forestry - diagnosis, bionomics and control. Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, 30:130-146.

Ananthakrishnan TN, 1984. Bioecology of thrips. Michigan, USA: Indira Publishing House Oak Park, 233 pp.

Ananthakrishnan TN, 1993. Bionomics of thrips. Annual Review of Entomology, 38:71-92

Ananthakrishnan TN; Sen S, 1980. Taxonomy of Idian Thysanoptera. Zool Surv. India, Handbook. Ser. 1.

APPPC, 1987. Insect pests of economic significance affecting major crops of the countries in Asia and the Pacific region. Technical Document No. 135. Bangkok, Thailand: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific region (RAPA).

Babu BS; Pandravada SR; Reddy KJ; Varaprasad KS; Sreekanth M, 2002. Field screening of pepper germplasm for sources of resistance against leaf curl caused by thrips (Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood) and mites (Polyphagotarsonemus latus Banks). Indian Journal of Plant Protection, 30(1): 7-12.

Bailey F, 1945. A revision of genus Scirtothrips Shull (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Hilgardia, 13(35):329-362.

CABI/EPPO, 1998. Distribution maps of quarantine pests for Europe (edited by Smith IM, Charles LMF). Wallingford, UK: CAB International, xviii + 768 pp.

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