Pest categorisation of Thrips palmi

Thysanoptera, melon thrips, European Union, pest risk, plant health, plant pest, virus vector
First published in the EFSA Journal
28 febbraio 2019
31 gennaio 2019
Scientific Opinion


The EFSA Panel on Plant Health (PLH) performed a pest categorisation of Thrips palmi(Thysanoptera: Thripidae), for the EU. T. palmi is listed in Annex IAI of 2000/29 EC. Using molecular methods, cryptic speciation has been shown although no new species from the group have been formally described. Here, we consider T. palmi sensu lato as a defined species native to southern Asia, which has spread to tropical and subtropical countries in Asia, the Pacific, North, Central and South America, Africa and Australia. T. palmi has been reported from many different hosts in 20 botanical families; Cucurbitaceae, Solanaceae and Orchidaceae are of primary importance. T. palmi has been intercepted many times on plants from these families. Wild and cultivated hosts are widespread in the EU. However, as a subtropical and tropical species, only a small area of the EU provides climatic conditions where establishment may be possible outdoors. Several host plants are cultivated in glasshouses where conditions may be more favourable for establishment in year‐round crops. There have been past outbreaks of T. palmi in EU glasshouses and outdoors in Portugal. T. palmi causes feeding and oviposition damage and populations in Asia are competent vectors of tospoviruses. Impacts could occur on many hosts, especially Cucurbitaceae, Solanaceae and ornamental plants particularly in glasshouses. Phytosanitary measures aim to prevent the entry of T. palmi specifically on cut flowers of Orchidaceae and fruits of Momordicaand Solanum melongena. The species meets all the criteria assessed by the PLH Panel to satisfy the definition of a Union quarantine pest, while it does not satisfy all the criteria for it to be regarded as a Union regulated non‐quarantine pest (RNQP).

Panel members at the time of adoption

Claude Bragard, Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, Francesco Di Serio, Paolo Gonthier, Marie-Agnès Jacques, Josep Anton Jaques Miret, Anne Marie Fejer Justesen, Alan MacLeod, Christer Sven Magnusson, Panagiotis Milonas, Juan A. Navas-Cortes, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Philippe L. Reignault, Hans-Hermann Thulke, Wopke Van der Werf, Antonio Vicent, Jonathan Yuen, Lucia Zappalà
Panel on Plant Health
alpha [at]
EFSA Journal 2019;17(2):5620
Question Number
On request from
European Commission