The insect order Thysanoptera includes the thrips. Here are a few facts about insects belonging to the order Thysanoptera:
- Small insects, 0.5 to 5 mm long.
- Four wings, narrow, with few veins, fringed with long hairs.
- Mouthparts of sucking type, stout conical proboscis (beak).
- Short antennae, 4-9 segments.
- Tarsi 1-2 segments.
- Metamorphosis is intermediate between simple and complete. The first 2 instars have no external wings.
- The males and females look similar, but males a bit smaller.
- Several generations in a year.
- Plant feeders, flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs, buds. Few species feed on fungi, few are predaceous.
- Feeding destroys plant cells, they empty the cells which become silverish in color. If the attack is heavy, plant tissue will turn brown and dry up.
- Thrips are often vectors of diseases.
- The order Thysanoptera is divided in 2 suborders:
- Suborder Terebrantia: ovipositor present, conical tip of abdomen, forewings with seta-bearing veins.
- Suborder Tubulifera: ovipositor absent, tip of abdomen tubular, forewings without veins.
The order Thysanoptera is divided into a number of families. Only one family is important in agriculture: