January 2012. Young banana plants in Guam initially appeared to be damage from a leaf mining insect, but on closer inspection thrips were found. The damage rapidly progresses to silvering of the leaf. What species could this be?
The images are at http://guaminsects.myspecies.info/thrips-attacking-young-banana-leaves.
The images were inspected by Laurence Mound, who is a PestNet associated. At first glance, he said it was clearly clearly a species of Thripidae, Panchaetothripinae (greenhouse thrips group). Specimens were required for a definitive determination.
Upon examination, it was found to be Dinurothrips hookeri. Laurence Mound said: "This is known widely around the Caribbean, between Florida and Brazil, but yours seems to be the first record from elsewhere (apart from one from “Malaya” in my own book about the thrips of South America – and I do not know the basis for that although it might be in the Museum in London).
It is also known to attack tomato, egg plant and sweet potato. This is a new collection record for Guam and the Pacific. Whether it is widely spread in Guam, and has reach nearby islands in Micronesia or Palau is not yet known.