Population Fluctuation of Thrips Species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in Nectarine Orchards and Damage Levels in East Mediterranean Region of Turkey
The occurence and population fluctuation of thrips (Thysanoptera) and damage to nectarines were studied in four orchards at two locations Adana and Mersin in the east Mediterranean Region of Turkey during 2005 and 2006. Direct sampling of nectarine flowers before petal fall revealed 12 thrips species with, western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) the most common and abundant species followed by Thrips tabaci Lindeman and Thrips major Uzel. Adult thrips were first recovered from flowers during early bloom whilst thrips larvae (first instars) were first detected at the beginning of petal fall. The highest average number of thrips per flower (0.65 adults, 0.45 larvae in 2005; 3.80 adults, 4.92 larvae in 2006) were in an orchard located in Mersin where the most thrips damage to fruit was recorded. Damage was the least in an orchard in Adana where the thrips abundance in the flowers were the lowest. Therefore, a direct correlation between damage to fruit and abundance of thrips in the flowers could be inferred. Thrips were also counted from sticky traps from flowering until trap catches ended in the Fall. Thrips populations generally peaked once in all orchards except Alifakılı/Mersin where up to 4 peaks occured until harvest. The highest trap catches during the bloom period were recorded in Alifakılı orchard where the most fruit damage was noted in both years. It is concluded that the data from direct counts in flowers and trap counts during the bloom period could be a suitable prediction method for estimating fruit damage. In the trial orchards, fruit damage for both years ranged between 17.7% and 73.8 % depending on the orchard. This study indicated that two insecticide applications during flowering period; one at the beginning and one at the end of petal-fall stage is needed and therefore suitable insecticides should be registrated for thrips control in nectarines.
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