Melon Thrips – Thrips palmi

Melon Thrips (Thrips palmi)

Common Name: Melon Thrips

Latin Name: Thrips palmi



Eggs are difficult to observe due to their small size and placement in leaf tissue.


Like nymphs, but quiescent and with growing wing pads.


They look like adults but are smaller and lack wings.


  • A tiny bug was measuring up to 1.5mm in length.
  • Cigar-shaped.
  • Pale yellow-green to orange in color.

Host plant:

The melon thrips feed on practically all types of vegetables, numerous fruit trees and weeds, and various floral plants such as chrysanthemums and carnations. They swiftly form dense infestations that cause serious injury.


Melon thrips are found in Japan, Florida, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.

Damages caused by Melon Thrips:

Melon thrips have piercing and sucking mouthparts that kill surface cells during feeding, causing plant damage. There may be no visible signs of damage at low levels. Melon thrips, when present in large numbers, cause silvering, yellowing, bronzing, and scarring of affected plant areas. Leaves may crinkle and die, growing tips may become stunted, discolored, and deformed, and fruits may develop scar tissue or abort.

Life history and habits:

Melon thrips eggs are deposited singly into plant tissues. Larvae are divided into two stages that feed on plant tissues. When the second instar larvae reach maturity, they fall to the ground and molt into prepupae and pupae in the soil. Adults eat and deposit eggs in developing portions of the plants, such as young leaves, flowers, or immature fruits after emergence. Adults are often found on young leaves, while larvae are typically found on lower or older leaves. Thrips are seldom found on flowers or fruits. Higher temperatures result in shorter generation times.