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The effect of photoperiod on walking, feeding, and oviposition in the western flower thrips

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The western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), is a major pest in glasshouses, where light and photoperiod are often manipulated to grow crops. The effect of five photoperiods (L0:D24, L6:D18, L12:D12, L18:D6, and L24:D0) on the behaviour of adult females was investigated in the laboratory at 25 °C. The amount of walking, pollen consumption, and oviposition all increased with increasing photophase. The three behaviours occurred at a low rate in continuous darkness, and are therefore not exclusively diurnal. Three out of 16 thrips (19%) showed weakly rhythmic walking activity in continuous darkness, with an average circadian period of 25.3 ± 1.5 h. It is proposed that the length of the photophase determines the amount of nutrient intake, which in turn determines oviposition rate and thus affects population increase.
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Keywords: Frankliniella occidentalis; Thripidae; Thysanoptera; dark; diel activity; fecundity; integrated pest management; light; pollen

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Life Sciences, Keele University, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK

Publication date: 01 June 2004

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