Seasonal abundance of Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marshal) and its natural enemies on Ficus microcarpa in Greece

S.A. Antonatos, A.E. Barbetaki, G.T. Papadoulis, M. Papafotiou
The Cuban laurel thrips, Gynaikothrips ficorum, is a serious pest of Ficus microcarpa var. nitida, reproducing within leaf galls formed as a result of its feeding on young leaves. The aim of this work was to investigate the seasonal population fluctuation of G. ficorum in Greece and determine the role of some predatory species, found within the leaf galls together with the thrips, as potential biological control agents. The immature G. ficorum had a very low population density from January until mid-March, it started to increase in April and peaked in June. From late July to early September there was a big decline, then a new peak was recorded during fall. G. ficorum adult population remained relatively low from January until the end of September, then increased until the end of December when the maximum adult number was recorded. The galled leaves percentage in terminal branches was over 30% during most of the year except in May, August, and September. Three predatory species were recorded inside the leaf galls: Montandoniella moraguesi, the most abundant species; Orius sp.; and Chrysoperla sp. The ectoparasitic mite Adactylidium gynaikothripsi was also found to feed upon eggs of G. ficorum from September till the end of December. No immature or adult M. moraguesi were observed during winter (January-March). The populations of both immature and adult M. moraguesi increased from mid-April, reaching a peak during July, thereafter it decreased, reaching zero in mid-September, and then another peak at the end of November was recorded.
Antonatos, S.A., Barbetaki, A.E., Papadoulis, G.T. and Papafotiou, M. (2015). Seasonal abundance of Gynaikothrips ficorum (Marshal) and its natural enemies on Ficus microcarpa in Greece. Acta Hortic. 1105, 101-108
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1105.15
Cuban laurel thrips, Montandoniella moraguesi, seasonal occurrence, biological control

Acta Horticulturae