1. knowknot says

    Marvellous creature.
    Unless, like any similar individual, it is on my neck, because AGHHH. (Even true of spiders, and I am the kind of idiot who carefully gathers their webs for them to fold up and reuse when they’re attched to the car. Hypocrite.)

  2. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Seriously wonderful and beautiful creature.

    And, yes, if I didn’t know it was around and my first awareness came from tiny footfalls on my skin, I wouldn’t think – I’d just slap (or grab and throw, depending on size) with possibly horrible consequences for the critter. I don’t like that this is how I handle such situations, but I’ve just become way too indoorsy as an adult and so

    a)I’ve got this reflex
    b) I don’t have enough chances to desensitize my self and change my reflexes.

    By keeping myself away from bugs, I’m hoping to keep them safe.

    yeah. That’s it.

  3. kevskos says

    You all would never notice if a thrip landed on you. The are one of the smallest insects, about the size of a grain of sand. When we search produce for thrips at work we shake it over a white piece of paper and look for something very small moving. Last one I found was about 1 mm long in the very nice picture I took of her/him with the microscope.

  4. Michael Prigge says

    As an Arabidopsis geneticist, they are a formidable nemesis. They can suck dry the floral apices of a whole population of plants before you notice them. They can lay eggs inside the developing seeds where they can dry down and stay dormant for years. Protected by the seed coat, they can survive soaking in 50% bleach+detergent then hatch & emerge with the germinating seedlings. From my selfish point of view, they are evil!

  5. Brian says

    Actually, thrips is both the singular and the plural. There is no “thrip”. At least not yet, anyway. Some dictionaries I looked at list “thrip” as a synonym now. The OED has no entry for “thrip” (except as a slang word for threepence), though it does acknowledge it in passing as a “false singular” under the entry for “thrips”.

  6. says

    One of the coolest thing about thrips is that they have asymmetrical jaws. The left mandible is greatly reduced, while the right is still functional. The feed by scrapping the surface of the plant with the one mandible, and sucking up the juices. It also explains why they are such import vectors of plant viruses.

    (Also a sad state of affairs, currently despite being one of the most important plant pests, there are almost no thrips taxonomists left. There are a few biocontrol people to who dabble in thrips taxonomy. But most of the major thrips collections in this country are currently unccurated. You can count the the number of who are thrips specialists on one hand and still have fingers left over to count all the Psyllidae specialists, and Agromyzidae specialists, and even then you can point at stuff with your free finger. )

  7. says


    Small insects like thrips or the real small beetles and wasps usually have long fringes on their wings. When an insect is that small, they really don’t so much as fly through the air as swim through it.

  8. Blueaussi says

    Argh! *spit!*Thrips are the enemy! The fiends carry tomato spotted wilt virus! *spit!, spit!, spit!*

  9. otrame says

    Big thrips have little thrips,
    Upon their backs to bite ’em,
    And little thrips have lesser thrips,
    and so, ad infinitum.

  10. Tethys says

    Arrgh! *makes sign of aversion* I have been battling* flower thrip (impossible to eradicate) and leaf thrip (just plain evil and destructive) for many rainless weeks and losing. Thankfully, cooler temperatures and some rain are slowing them down so maybe I will get to actually harvest some lettuce and spinach. For anyone who thinks they have never encountered a thrips, if you have ever been bitten by an invisible bug, it is likely that thrip is what was biting you. If you look very closely, you will see what looks like a tiny sliver of grass. I do regret killing them, because thrip bites hurt like tiny paper cuts. *pinesol TM/water mixed @ 1/50 knocks them back pretty well

  11. Tethys says

    Um, make that I don’t regret killing them. The penalty for insects biting me is death. It’s a pretty sound tactic from a human evolutionary standpoint, seeing as how many diseases are transmitted by insect bites. Bug on plant = Oh cool, look at the intricate wings. Bug on me + biting = Aaaarrrgh, die bug die, get it offfff. The effect is especially pronounced with spiders. I love them, but I cannot overcome my bodies irrational, instinctual response to all those legs.

  12. beatgroover says

    thrips are a huge issue to the rose growing world and they cause us quite a nuisance. lucky for me i just grow and sell the plants so the damage to the flowers isn’t a huge deal on my end of the business. but people growing for exhibitions will spray every insecticide known to man to kill these little buggers! their damage is nothing compared to that of spider mites though *shudders*