First record of Anascirtothrips arorai (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) in Israel
In Israel, an unusual thrips species identified as Anascirtothrips arorai (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) was observed for the first time in 2003. The insect was found on young shoots of Ficus benjamina and inside leaf galls caused by another thrips species (Gynaikothrips ficorum). In 2004, A. arorai was also detected inside fig fruits (Ficus carica); the insects had penetrated the figs through a natural opening which occurs in ripening fruits.
A. arorai was first described in India where it is widely distributed on Ficus religiosa. It breeds on leaves of Ficus species. The presence of A. arorai has also been reported from the following countries:
- Australia (Northern Territory): it was observed on different Ficus species (including F. microcarpa) on the campus of the University of Darwin.
- Pakistan: it was reported in 1996 from Punjab.
- United Arab Emirates: a single female was caught in a light trap.
- USA (Florida): it was observed in winter 1997-98 on young leaves of F. microcarpa in a nursery.
It is suggested that A. arorai is being spread by the international trade of Ficus plants. However, there is no record of damage or economic impact in the literature.
Mound LA, Chin-Ling Wang (2000) The genus Anascirtothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), from leaves of Ficus trees in Taiwan, India and Australia. Chinese Journal of Entomology 20, 327-3 33. Available online: http://www.entsoc.org.tw/chinese/publication/journal/pdf/c2004/c200406.pdf
Saeed M, Yousuf M, Zafar MH (1996). Some thrips of the family Thripidae (Thysanoptera) from Punjab (Pakistan). Second International Congress of Entomological Sciences, Islamabad (Pakistan) 1996-03-19/21, p 5 (abst.). Available online: http://www.fao.org/agris/search/display.do;jsessionid=49516FEAE492894392FDD4DBBCEE034C?f=./1999/v2509/PK1999000135.xml;PK1999000135
Zur Strassen R, Kuslitzky W (2007) Anascirtothrips arorai Bhatti (Thysanoptera: Thripidae): a new thrips for Israel. Phytoparasitica 35(3), 253-254.