Thrips Damage

Symptoms

Early symptoms are a stippled and silvery appearance on the lower surface of mid-canopy and older leaves (Fig. 1). The black speckles on the silvery surface are the excrement from feeding juvenile thrips.  Affected tissue eventually becomes necrotic (Fig. 2).

May Be Confused With

Thrips damage can be similar in appearance to that caused by mites. However, there will be no webbing associated with thrips and the necrosis is usually much more extensive.

Cause

Sucking of juices in the leaves by juvenile thrips result in the observed symptoms.

Occurrence

There are few reports of thrips feeding on palms, but they occasionally cause significant damage on several species of palms in Florida.

December 1, 2010