Originally from South Asia, Thrips palmi spread outwards from there to numerous countries of the Pacific and Caribbean in the 20th century. This insect species of the order Thysanoptera (fringe-winged insects) today also occurs locally in regions of North, Central and South America, as well as Africa and Australia. The host-plant range of T. palmi encompasses plants from 20 different botanical families, including vegetables from the Cucurbitaceae family (e.g. pumpkin and cucumber), the Nightshade family Solanaceae (e.g. tomato and aubergine) and even flowers such as orchids. T. palmi damages plants both directly through larval feeding damage and indirectly through the transmission of plant pathogenic viruses such as the tomato spotted-wilt virus (TSWV). T. palmi is mainly introduced through trade in fruit and vegetables, cut flowers and ornamental plants, and is also regularly identified in Switzerland on third-country plant imports (e.g. orchids). Regulated as a quarantine organism in Switzerland and the EU, T. palmi is therefore subject to a ‘notification and control’ obligation.
Notification of suspected infestation