Effect of maize plants on colonisation of cowpea plants by bean flower thrips, Megalurothrips sjostedti uri icon


  • It is concluded that, although non-host plant odours do not reduce thrips colonisation they interfere with host plant utilisation.
  • The effect of non-host maize plants on colonisation of cowpea by Megalurothrips sjostedti (Trybom) (Thysanoptera; Thripidae) was investigated.
  • There were no differences in population density and activity of M. sjostedti on sole cowpea crop and mixed cowpea/maize crop during the colonisation phase (i.e. 10-30 days after emergence of the plants. However, subsequently M. sjostedti numbers were lower in the mixed than in the sole crop, suggesting that maize did not interfere with colonisation of cowpea crop by thrips. In a choice situation, higher numbers of M. sjostedti oriented towards, and settled on, sole cowpea plants than on those mixed with maize. Olfactory tests indicated that fewer thrips oriented towards a cowpea/maize mixed odour source. When equal numbers of thrips were introduced into the centre of sole- and mixed-cropped cowpea plots, the thrips became randomly distributed in each plot. Fewer thrips were recovered from the mixture than from the sole crop.

publication date

  • 1993
  • 1993