It is polyphagous pest and has been recorded more than 36 plants families.
Life cycle and appearance
The reproduction in Thrips palmi takes place by sexual as well as partheno-generic. Virgin females lays 1 to 8 eggs per day, with 3 to 164 eggs lays during their lifespan. Mated female lays 3 to 204 eggs. Eggs are deposited in leaf tissue in a slit cut by female. Eggs are colourless to pale white in colour. The nymphs resemble the adults in general body form but it lacks wings and are smaller. Nymph development time is dependent on temperature, but host plant quality also has an influence. After completion of nymph stage, it drops to soil and pupate in soil. There are two pupal stages viz., prepupae and pupae. Adults are pale yellow or white in colour and 0.8 to 1mm in length, with females slightly larger than males. Life cycle is completed in 20 days under favourable conditions.
Nymphs and adults are damaging stage. Infested leaves become yellow or brown, also acquire bronze colour, then crinkle and die. Damaged terminal become discoloured, stunted and deformed. They preferably feed on leaves, less damage to buds and flowers. In addition to direct damage, it also transmits virus from infected to healthy plants.