Scirtothrips aurantii

Citrus thrips

General

Citrus thrips is originally described from various localities in South Africa and is indigenous. It occurs throughout Southern Africa, East Africa, Egypt and Yemen. Citrus thrips can survive on many different host plants but seem to be particularly attracted to those with aromatic oils and terpenoids.

Appearance and life cycle of Citrus thrips

When food availability is optimal, the life cycle lasts 20 days during October and November. When food is suboptimal and the weather is colder, the life cycle can be 45 days. Eggs are laid in soft leaf tissues or young fruit and can take 6-24 days to hatch depending on temperature. It is the second instar larvae that are responsible for most of the feeding damage, this stage can last 4-6 days. The larva will move towards the shady area of the tree to pupate, if a suitable site is not found, the larva will drop to the ground to pupate. Citrus thrips does not enter diapause during winter and all life stages may be present throughout the year.  

How to get rid of Citrus thrips

We would like to acknowledge the following for the photos of Scirtothrips aurantii (Citrus thrips) and their damage: Stephen, P.R & Citrus Research International. Citrus thrips and their damage. [Photograph] (P.R. Stephen and the Citrus Research International Collection).