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Posted by sunseeker53 10a CA USA (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 28, 11 at 0:29

Do anybody know what Thrips look like?
I've seen close up pictures of them, but don't know what they look like in real life cuz they're supposed to be extremely small (so small that they are about the only insects that can go down the throat of the plumeria flowers and help in pollinating them, from what I've read).
I have many tiny insects on my flowers, they look like specks of dust that move around quite a bit around the throat of the flowers. They don't seem to harm them at all, as I see no sign of damage. Wonder if they are thrips? Again, the size is extremely small.
If they are thrips I should expect to get some seed pods, right?
In the picture it is that tiny black spot on the petal that is at 3 o'clock position.

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Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Thrips

Hi Sunseeker,

I dont know anything about those Thrips, I have heard thst they are bigger than what is on your bloom. But i have never seen them so im not so sure...

The color of your bloom is gorgeous!!! It that the one everyone is expressing interest on a cutting? I can see why, it a beauty!! Better get it growing fast..LOL Those are some of the most beautiful orange blooms ive seen!!!

Congratulations on a winner!!!

Take care...

Laura in VB

RE: Thrips

Hi Sunseeker:

IMHO that is a thrips, probably a beneficial one (one that preys on spider mites and the evil kinds of thrips that eat foliage and flowers) because of its size. I don't know much at all about insects, but I have had so much foliage damage this year that I have had to educate myself a bit. Bad thrips are very hard to see, they're like 1 mm in length. The predatory types, I believe, are more like 2.5-3 mm in length, which makes them easier to see. With any kind of hand lens you can tell if its thrips or not. If you have no damage (lucky!) then, as you say, you have no reason to worry.

I have on my plants as well that very same tiny little black cigar-thing that's in your photo. I try to leave that one be b/c I think it eats spider mites. I see him zooming around and through the tips of my plants.

I don't know anything about thrips and pollination.

That IS a beautiful flower btw!!


RE: Thrips

Thanks, Laura and Greg!
This morning, armed with the camera and a magnifier, I went out there and spent a good 15 minutes trying to get a close look at these critters (it's very hard for the camera to focus on them as they move quite fast) and finally was able to get a shot of one. It is definitely a thrip, when I compared with some pictures I found online.
I think I might have the beneficial kind, because I haven't seen damages either to the flowers or leaves.
With that, I am hoping to get some seedpods someday, because these little critters are supposed to be great helpers in pollination! I've read that people who want to induce seedpods sometimes use a thin fishing line to push down the throat of the flower because the throat is that tight.

Laura: No this flower is not the red-gold/orange one I've shown before. This is Calif. Sunset, it is getting orange/red colors too, due to the heat. I love Calif. Sunset, the inflo is huge, it blooms and blooms, and is still producing new inflos (I thought this is quite late for new inflos to show up). This plant got an inflo in January (I had it in the greenhouse), started blooming in March, and looks like it will bloom for a few more months with the number of inflos it has. So I'd say I might get a good 7 or even 8 months of blooms from it! That's quite amazing!

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RE: Thrips


What a beautiful California Sunset!! I do remember the other red gold orange..

I had heard that thrips were nasty little hopefully like you and Greg think, it will be a benefitial helper instead of the ones that tear up your plants.,

Now, im going to get out my manifying glass when i get home to look at my leaves and blooms.

I aslo think that some of my problems with the leaves are from grasshoppers and snails. At night, i have noticed some of these critters on them. I constantly pull slugs off of the trees, not many..but enough to make me sick to touch them!!! LOL SLimy things...YUCK!

Thanks for sharing that pic of the we all can start schecking for them too!

Take care everyone!!!

Laura in VB

RE: Thrips

I agree its a kind of thrip. there is a malicious vareity which I believe is called the Chili Thrip which does shorten the life of a bloom dramatically.

RE: Thrips

I'll have to watch them closely now. If I start seeing any damage to flowers or leaves, out comes the spray! Between seedpods and healthy plumies, I choose healthy plumies!
Laura, I heard that you can kill grasshoppers by spraying a solution made out of cooking oil, dishwashing soap and water. I may try that, as I have spotted a grasshopper in my yard and already have mint leaves chewed on by something (I think the grasshopper is the culprit).

RE: Thrips

I'm nearly certain that I have on my plants, all at once:

thrips, whiteflies, aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale...LOL!

No wonder I'm so darn neurotic! My fam thinks I'm losing it...but they just don't understand... ;)

PS Major nerd moment: I think that "thrips" is much like the word "triceps"--even when there's only one, it's still a "thrips." Of course, the irony is, when is there EVER only one "thrips"?!? There's always like 10 million of them, at least from where I sit.

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