Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Myoporum thrips - Klambothrips myopori

Myoporum thrips - Klambothrips myopori
San Leandro, Alameda County, California, USA
August 30, 2009
Size: 2mm
I have two Myoporum trees in my yard. They aren't native but they're a great screen between me and my neighbors. Unfortunately this year one of them started looking terrible -- all the new leaves are deformed. I finally looked closely at some leaves, found a LOT of thrips, did a google search... These thrips were only described in 2007 after damaging Myoporum species in southern California. It's likely that the thrips, like the trees, are native to Australia or New Zealand, but are not a pest there due to factors controlling their populations.

Interesting Joyce
I'll keep an eye out on my local Myoporum "swarms". Were the thrips on the already brown and twisted leaves, or on the greener ones?

The thrips are on the green leaves -- they like the new growth. I admit I don't remember to what extent I looked at the brown leaves (I'm pretty sure I did look) but I don't think there was enough for them to feed on there once they turned brown.

I had to have one of the Myoporums cut down. In the end about 2/3 of it was dead and the rest of the tree didn't look good. I still have the other Myoporum. It's covered in deformed leaves and thrips, but from a distance it looks ok and hasn't had whole branches die. I'm hoping it hangs on because it's a great screen from the neighbors, even with less-than-full leaves.