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Thrips and their feeding injury on tomatoes

The insect thrips feeding on leaves and fruit of tomato causes injury that could be mistaken for a disease.  It is also important to recognize the injury because thrips vector tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and other tospoviruses which can cause substantial losses.  White flecks occur on leaves.  Arrow in the first photograph below points to one of several tiny, yellow thrips larvae on the leaflet.  Black specks are feces.  Gold flecking occurs on fruit, sometimes in a circle pattern where fruit were touching.  Thrips favor the protected area next to where fruit touch.  There is also a larvae in the second photograph of leaflets that have wilted tissue resulting from extensive feeding.  The wilted tissue has some resemblance to late blight.

View high-resolution images of thrips: larva | adult

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