How to recognize palm thrips

The body of adult palm thrips is light- to dark brown colored. The wings are light with a distinctive dark lateral band in the middle and a less distinctive dark lateral band further back on the wing. The lateral bands are the reason this thrips is also referred to as zebra thrips. The antennae are lightly colored. The larvae are somewhat transparent white. 

Palm thrips damage and distribution

Palm thrips is usually found on leaves. Adults tend to prefer the upperside of the leaves, while larvae are often found in groups on the underside of the leaves. Both adults and young stages feed by puncturing plant cells and feeding on the content. This causes light silver-gray spots with dark dots, which are thrips feces. The spots often contain shedded skins of younger stages. Palm thrips is not known for transmitting viruses. 

  • Palm thrips life cycle

    all stages reside on plant
    young stages aggregate
    parthenogenetic reproduction
    males are rare
    development time 35-40 day

  • Palm thrips host plants

    ornamental plants
    Ficus, Hedera
    Schefflera, Dracaena

  • Palm thrips pupae

  • Palm thrips adults