a1 Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida (UF), Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), 18905, SW 280 Street, Homestead, FL33031, USA
Within-plant and within-field distribution of larvae and adults of an invasive thrips species, Frankliniella schultzei (Trybom) on cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. was studied in 2008 and 2009 in Homestead, Florida. The majority of thrips were found inhabiting flowers of cucumber plants and little or none was found on the other parts of the plant. Thrips were aggregated in the field, as indicated by the two regression models, Taylor's power and Iwao's patchiness regression. Iwao's patchiness regression provided a better fit than Taylor's power law. The distribution was clumped during the initial stages of infestation at the edges of the field and became random thereafter. However, with increase in population density, thrips again formed aggregates in the field. Based on the average pest density per flower in a ∼0.25-ha field, minimum sample size (number of flowers) required at the recommended precision level (0.25) was 51. The number of samples required at two levels of predetermined pest density was also calculated, which would help growers in collecting optimum number of samples required to determine the correct threshold level of pest in fields. Results from seasonal abundance indicated that density of thrips peaked during the fifth week of sampling with an average of 25 and 34 adults per ten flowers during autumn 2008 and 2009, respectively. Results from these studies will help growers and extension personnel in understanding the abundance and distribution of F. schultzei in the field, which are important components required in developing a sound management program.
(Accepted September 13 2011)
(Online publication October 26 2011)