Flower thrips, Frankliniella tritici (Fitch) (Insecta: Thysanoptera: Thripidae)
view on EDIS



How to Cite

Sprague, Danielle, Joseph E. Funderburk, and Andrea Lucky. 2019. “Flower Thrips, Frankliniella Tritici (Fitch) (Insecta: Thysanoptera: Thripidae): EENY-720/IN1236, 1/2019”. EDIS 2019 (2). Gainesville, FL. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-in1236-2019.


The flower thrips, Frankliniella tritici (Fitch) (Figure 1), is one of the most abundant species of flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in the eastern United States (Reitz 2008). The official common name established by the Entomological Society of America for this species is flower thrips, although the name flower thrips is often applied generically to the numerous species in the genus Frankliniella that inhabit flowers. For this reason, it is frequently referred to as the eastern flower thrips, presumably for its distribution in the eastern United States.

Several species in the genus Frankliniella are considered economic pests and cause damage to a wide variety of crops through feeding and oviposition (Childers 1997). Several species are able to vector orthotospoviruses (or tospoviruses), including Tomato spotted wilt virus. However, Frankliniella tritici is not a vector of Tomato spotted wilt virus and is considered a pest of secondary importance (de Assis Filho 2005).

Frankliniella tritici may, however, be confused with other similar Frankliniella species in Florida such as Frankliniella bispinosa and Frankliniella occidentalis which are capable vectors of Tomato spotted wilt virus (Riley et al. 2011).

This document is also available on the Featured Creatures website at http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/.


view on EDIS


Arthurs S, Kok-Yokomi ML, Smith HA. 2015. Florida flower thrips (suggested common name) Frankliniella bispinosa Morgan (Insecta: Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Document EENY-639. UF/IFAS EDIS, Electronic Data Information Source. (29 October 2018)

Avila Y, Stavisky J, Hague S, Funderburk FE, Reitz R, Momol T. 2006. Evaluation of Frankliniella bispinosa (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) as a vector of the Tomato spotted wilt virusin pepper. Florida Entomologist 89: 204-207. https://doi.org/10.1653/0015-4040(2006)89[204:EOFBTT]2.0.CO;2

Baez I, Reitz SR, Funderburk JE. 2004. Predation by Orius insidiosus (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) on life stages and species of Frankliniella flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in pepper flowers. Environmental Entomology 33: 662-670. https://doi.org/10.1603/0046-225X-33.3.662

Chellemi DO, Funderburk JE, Hall DW. 1994. Seasonal abundance of flower inhabiting Frankliniella species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on wild plant species. Environmental Entomology 23: 337-342. https://doi.org/10.1093/ee/23.2.337

Childers CC. 1997. Feeding and oviposition injuries to plants. Thrips as Crop Pests (ed. Lewis T), pp. 505-538. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.

Cluever J, Smith H. 2016. Pest information guide: Eastern flower thrips, Frankliniella tritici. Document IN113700. UF/IFAS EDIS, Electronic Data Information Source. (29 October 2018)

Cotton Insect Management Guide. 2017. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. (29 October 2018)

de Assis Filho FM, Stavisky J, Reitz R, Deom CM, Sherwood JL. 2005. Midgut infection by Tomato spotted wilt virus and vector incompetence of Frankliniella tritici. Journal of Applied Entomology 129: 548-550. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0418.2005.01006.x

Demirozer O, Tyler-Julian K, Funderburk J, Leppla N, Reitz S. 2012. Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) integrated pest management programs for fruiting vegetables in Florida. Pest Management Science 68: 1537-1545. https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.3389

Funderburk JE, Reitz S, Stansly P, Freeman J, Miller C, McAvoy G, Whidden A, Demirozer O, Nuessly G, Leppla N. 2015a. Managing thrips in pepper and eggplant. Document ENY-658 (IN401). UF/IFAS EDIS, Electronic Data Information Source. (29 October 2018)

Funderburk JE, Adkins S, Freeman J, Stansly P, Smith H, Demirozer O, Snodgrass C, Paret M, Leppla N. 2015b. Managing thrips and tospoviruses in tomato. Document ENY-859 (IN859). UF/IFAS EDIS, Electronic Data Information Source. (29 October 2018)

Hoddle MS, Mound LA, Paris DL. 2012. Thrips of California. CBIT Publishing, Queensland. (29 October 2018)

Kirk WDJ. 2002. The pest and vector from the west: Frankliniella occidentalis.Thrips and Tospoviruses: Proceedings of the 7th International Symposium on Thysanoptera (Eds. Marullo R, Mound L), pp. 33-42. Australian National Insect Collection, Canberra, Australia.

Layton B, Reed JT. 2014. Biology and control of thrips on seedling cotton. Mississippi State University Extension Service. Publication 2302. (29 October 2018)

Paini DR, Funderburk JE, Jackson CT, Reitz SR. 2007. Reproduction of four thrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on uncultivated hosts. Journal of Entomological Science 42: 610-615. https://doi.org/10.18474/0749-8004-42.4.610

Paini DR, Funderburk JE, Reitz SR. 2008. Competitive exclusion of worldwide invasive pest by a native. Quantifying competition between two phytophagous insects on two host plant species. Journal of Animal Ecology 77: 184-190. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01324.x

Reed JT, Allen C, Bagwell R, Cook D, Burris E, Freeman B, Leonard R, Lentz G. 2006. A key to the thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) on seedling cotton in the mid-southern United States. Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Information Sheet. pp. 1-26.

Reitz SR. 2008. Comparative bionomics of Frankliniella occidentalis and Frankliniella tritici. Florida Entomologist 91: 474-476. https://doi.org/10.1653/0015-4040(2008)91[474:CBOFOA]2.0.CO;2

Reitz SR. 2009. Biology and ecology of the western flower thrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): The making of a pest. Florida Entomologist 92: 7-13. https://doi.org/10.1653/024.092.0102

Schuster DJ, Smith HA. 2015. Scouting for insects, use of thresholds, and conservation of beneficial insects on tomatoes. Document ENY685 (IN482). UF/IFAS EDIS, Electronic Data Information Source. (29 October 2018)

Toapanta M, Funderburk JE, Chellemi D. 2001. Development of Frankliniella species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in relation to microclimate temperatures in vetch. Journal of Entomological Science 36: 426-437. https://doi.org/10.18474/0749-8004-36.4.426

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.