The majority of thrips measure 0.06 to 0.12 inch long, color depends on the development stage and is tiny enough to enter the smallest flowers or bark cracks. Adult thrips are normally white to brown or black in color while larvae maybe yellow, orange or red. They possess a hexagonal shape of the body with spines, body flanges and bristles that extends to the tip of the forks.
Thrips have distinctive uneven mouthparts used to puncture and suck the outermost layer of the plant to extract sap. On the other hand, some thrips use their mouthparts to puncture other insect’s skin to release their body fluids.
Thrips Life Cycle
Unlike any other insects, thrips undergo a process called metamorphosis that happens gradually. Thrips that feed on flowers and plants lay up to 80 eggs using ovipositor. The eggs are can be noticed as circle-like spots on the leaves or fruits but during the pupal stage, they cause an apparent discoloration. When the egg is hatched, the nymphs emerge and stay wingless for 2 stages so they have to crawl from one plant to another until their wings grow. Before reaching adulthood, the nymphs stops feeding and will find a safe place to molt. Thrips larvae turn into an adult within 20 days.