Jiunn Luh Tan, Peter Aun Chuan Ooi, Gideon Khoo


Thrips have always been one of the major pests for eggplant
(Solanum melongena L.), chili and bell peppers (Capsicum
annuum L.). Thrips damage these vegetable crops either by
direct feeding on the leaves, flowers or fruits or they act as
vectors for viruses. However, not all thrips feed on the above
mentioned crops, thus identification of the thrips that feed on
these vegetable crops is important in order to provide an
effective solution. Therefore, the objective of this study is to
identify the species of thrips that attack these plants and cause
major damages. Cameron Highlands was selected as the study
area because it is one of the major vegetable production areas in
Malaysia. Thrips were collected from several farms in Cameron
Highlands. The thrips samples were stored in 70% ethanol,
macerated by soaking in weak sodium hydroxide (5% NaOH),
dehydrated using alcohol and clove oil and finally mounted on 

microscopic glass slides using Euparal as mounting medium.
The thrips specimens were identified based on the morphology.
The thrips that were found abundant on these vegetable crops
were Thrips palmi Karny and Thrips parvispinus Karny. These
thrips were usually found feeding in the flowers of susceptible
vegetable crops. There were on average 5 thrips per flower. The
damage of thrips can only be observed during fruit formation as
scars on the external surface of the fruits. The damage became
intensified as the fruits grew to cause them to develop irregular
shapes and dry-looking. These unpleasant looking fruits,
although edible, are not preferred by consumers, thus causing
them to be non-marketable.

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