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Trends in Entomology   Volumes    Volume 6 
Thrips in the Neotropics: What do we know so far?
Kleber Del-Claro
Pages: 77 - 88
Number of pages: 12
Trends in Entomology
Volume 6 

Copyright © 2010 Research Trends. All rights reserved

Thrips are among the most diverse insects in the planet, however their diversity and interactions in Neotropics are not well known. Most studies in this region regard the Brazilian and Argentine thysanopterofauna and treat species as crop pests either by the severe herbivory on plants and by the transmission of virus resulting in serious damage and economic losses. Nevertheless thrips present unique and extraordinary interactions and occur in virtually any microhabitat, such as flowers, leaves and fruits. These insects may feed on fungus, flower tissues and also on other arthropods, influencing food chains and bottom-up and top-down forces in trophic cascades. In addition to these widely disparate feeding habits, thrips exhibit a diverse array of life styles including various levels of sociality, remarkable structural polymorphisms, gall-induction on leaves and pollination as well as ectoparasitism and  phoresy behavior in hemipteran species. Intertwined with  this astonishingly broad range of niche occupation and life histories there is an inherent opportunism that allows many species to readily adopt and utilize a variety of resources in ephemeral and/or stable habitats. In this review we present a general overview of thrips ecology and biology and make available information on the current knowledge on thrips habits and habitats in the Neotropics. We also aim to shed light and provide an insightful assessment on the ecology and behavior of these long ignored insects in one of the most biologically diverse ecozones in the world.
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