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New Zealand Plant Protection 66 (2013): 378

Monitoring and manipulation of New Zealand flower thrips (Thrips obscuratus) in summerfruit orchards

M.E. Stanbury, E. de Vries, A.M. El-Sayed, F. Chinellato, K. M. Colhoun, B. Attfield and D.M. Suckling


New Zealand flower thrips (NZFT) are a pest in New Zealand stone fruit orchards. In this study, NZFT density was manipulated in the field using a known kairomone. It was discovered that the addition of the kairomone to any given tree within an orchard increased NZFT density in direct proportion to the amount of kairomone used. It was also found that delta traps baited with kairomone must be within 1.5 m from each other before trap competition occurs, indicating a high density of traps is required for mass trapping. Daily monitoring of NZFT catch using self-reporting camera trap technology in a Clyde orchard revealed that despite large daily variation in NZFT catch, the population displayed a linear growth trend. This indicates that NZFT establishment in Central Otago cannot be explained by the sudden arrival of windborne adults as previously thought. These results indicate that it may be possible to manipulate NZFT density within an orchard in such a way that the majority of fruiting trees are ‘protected’ by ‘trap trees’ during harvest.

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