Naio Thrips (Klambothrips myopori)
Regulatory Status: Pest for Control (HAR 69A)
Naio thrips is a new pest insect which attacks the Hawaiian naio tree. Thrips are small sucking insects with feathery wings. Pest thrips can cause scarring of leaf, flower, and fruit surfaces leading to lethal plant damage. Naio thrips can be found on many Myoporum species, but is especially noticeable on naio (Myoporum sandwicense). The leaf curling and gall formation effects of thrips on naio plants will be noticed before any insects are seen. These thrips are small, less than 1/20th inch long, and are shiny dark brown with a noticeable posterior tube. Immature thrips are similar in shape but are yellow to orange in color.
Naio thrips are causing widespread damage on the popular landscaping Myoporum plants in southern California and the San Francisco area. In Hawaiʻi, this new pest can potentially have devastating effects on our native naio trees which are an important component of lowland and coastal dry forest and comprise roughly one half of the plant biomass of the māmane-naio forest ecosystem.
Naio thrips, which are probably native to Australia, can be transported to new areas in infested landscaping plants and locally via the wind. This pest was first noticed on the island of Hawaiʻi in March 2009. It appears to be spreading across the Big Island (map). There is still a chance of preventing this pest from establishing in Hawaii. Please report any sightings.
What you can do
For additional information, visit
HDOA New Pest Advisory: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/npa09-02-naiothrips.pdf
Assessing the impacts of an invasive thrips (Klambothrips myopori) infestation on native Myoporum in Hawaii. Cynthia King, Robert Hauff, Leyla Kaufman, and Mark Wright. 2011. http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/fhm/posters/posters11/WC-DM-10-01Hauff_naiothrips.pdf
Early Detection and Rapid Response Plans for Myoporum Thrips:
Photos of thrips:
Photos of naio with damage from thrips:
Photos of naio with damage from other species (not naio thrips):