Naio Thrips Survey and Monitoring Project
Myoporum thrips, Klambothrips myopori, is a recently established invasive insect that infests Myoporum sandwicensis in Hawai‘i. Myoporum sandwicensis, commonly called naio, is an important native tree or shrub has a wide ecological range that includes dry coastal shrublands, montane wet forest, and subalpine dry forests. Feeding damage by the thrips includes leaf distortion and gall-like symptoms. Severe infestation can cause branch die back and ultimately result in tree death. Myoporum thrips was initially detected and described in California from infested Myoporum laetum, a non-native landscape plant. In Hawai‘i the pest was detected in 2009, and is currently restricted to the island of Hawai‘i. However given the frequency of inter-island transport of goods and people, and the precedence of pest range expansions, this species is likely to spread throughout the state. The State of Hawai‘i, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DLNR-DOFAW) received a U.S. Forest Service Forest Health Monitoring Program grant to initiate a survey and monitoring program. Funding was received in 2010, and DLNR-DOFAW has partnered with University of Hawai‘i at Manoa to complete the project. Objectives include assessing current distribution, rate of spread and quantifying the impacts of this invasive species on M. sandwicensis populations. Project results will help us understand the impact Myoporum thrips will have on Hawaiian ecosystems, and enable resource managers to take important and timely management actions in the event that this species becomes established on other Hawaiian Islands.
- University of Hawai‘i at Manoa