Mound, Laurence A. Division of Entomology, Black Mountain Laboratories, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra, Australia.
- Crop pests
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The thrips, an order of small slender insects that have an asymmetric head with only one mandible, whose feet lack tarsal claws, whose development is intermediate between exopterygotes and endopterygotes, and whose wings are narrow with a fringe of long hairs. These wings are considered typical of thrips (Fig. 1), but many minute insects have slender fringed wings for aerodynamic reasons, and many thrips species are wingless (Fig. 2). In contrast, thrips development is certainly unique. There are two larval stages that feed actively, followed by two or even three nonfeeding pupal stages, before an adult emerges. Most insects have a pair of mandibles. However, in thrips, the left one is missing and the right one is a solid needle that is used to make a hole in a leaf. Plant cell contents are then pumped into the body through a feeding tube formed by the paired maxillary stylets. Insects usually have paired tarsal claws, but the feet of thrips have an inflatable bladder, similar to that of flies, instead of claws. See also: Insecta
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