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Red-banded thrips

  • Discoloured mangosteen fruit
    Young mangosteen fruit damaged (brown discolouration) by red-banded thrips
  • Redbanded thrips juvenile (Selenothrips rubrocinctus) hiding underneath a mangosteen fruit calyx
    Juvenile red-banded thrips (Selenothrips rubrocinctus) hiding underneath a mangosteen fruit calayx
Scientific name

Selenothrips rubrocinctus

Description of adult

Adult thrips are dark-bodied with a red band on the first three abdominal segments. They are about 3 mm in length and have two pairs of clear wings that have large fringing hairs around the whole margin.

Immature stages

The nymphs are light orange with abdominal segments one and two, and the anal segments bright red.

Life history

Eggs are inserted into the tissue on the lower leaf surface and covered with a drop of fluid, which dries to form a black, disc-like cover. Nymphs emerge in about 12 days. One generation is completed in two weeks.


Red-banded thrips are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Host range

This pest attacks avocado, cashew, guava, mammey, mango and mangosteen.


Major and sporadic.

Both immature and adult thrips suck sap from cells. The preferred feeding site for thrips is the tissue next to the midrib on the undersurface of leaves, but in severe infestations fruit is also attacked. The first sign of damaging is a silvering of leaves and fruit.

In severe infestations, the silvering develops a pale yellow to brown discolouration, speckled darkly with dried droppings. This insect causes damage to mammey, cashew and mangosteen.

Control options

Using a x10 magnification hand lens, check the lower leaf surfaces for thrips especially during warm dry weather. Current knowledge suggests a spray should be applied if a sample of six leaves per tree yields four or more colonies of thrips.

A full cover spray. If treating for fruit-spotting bugs, this spray should also control red-banded thrips.

Chemical registrations and permits
Check the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority chemical database and permit database for chemicals registered or approved under permit to treat this pest on the target crop in your state or location. Always read the label. Always observe withholding periods.