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Species Page

bean flower thrips

Megalurothrips usitatus
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Arachis hypogaea (groundnut)
Cajanus cajan (pigeon pea)
Canavalia gladiata (sword bean)
Glycine max (soyabean)
Lablab purpureus (hyacinth bean)
Phaseolus lunatus (lima bean)
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)
Pisum sativum (pea)
Psophocarpus tetragonolobus (winged bean)
Pueraria montana var. lobata (kudzu)
Vigna angularis (adzuki bean)
Vigna radiata (mung bean)
Vigna sinensis ssp. sesquipedalis (asparagus bean)
Vigna unguiculata (cowpea)

List of symptoms / signs

Inflorescence - discoloration panicle
Inflorescence - wilt
Leaves - abnormal colours
Leaves - wilting


No early indications of attack (puncturing and sap-sucking) by M. usitatus are apparent. Injury to plant tissues due to oviposition easily escapes the naked eye. After a week or so, young leaves and flowers begin to wilt. Wilting is caused by the feeding of both adults and nymphs.

Prevention and control

Cultural Control

Grout and Richards (1990) (in Chang, 1990) indicated that yellow PVC cards coated with a sticky pesticide have been used by farmers to monitor and control the citrus thrips, Scirtothrips aurantii in South Africa. This method may be feasible for M. usitatus which was found to be most attracted to blue-coloured water-pan traps during movement from adzuki beans to other leguminous crops. The efficiency of blue sticky traps to control M. usitatus has been tested. Blue traps caught significantly more M. usitatus than yellow or green traps during the winter crop. In spring, the order of preference of M. usitatus was blue > white > yellow > green. However, when the population increased there was no difference in the number of thrips being attracted to blue and white traps (Chang, 1990b).

Biological Control

Three eulophid parasitoids of M. usitatus have been reported. The most recent is Ceranisus menes. However, studies on its bionomics and potential as biological control agent against M. usitatus are still needed (Chang, 1991).

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


M. usitatus is the most common species of Megalurothrips in the Oriental region but nowhere has it ever reached such pest populations as M. sjostedti (Palmer, 1985).

Miyasaki et al. (1984) record M. usitatus on mung beans and groundnuts and as most abundant on soyabeans in Java but crop yield is not significantly affected.

In Taiwan the yield loss in groundnuts caused by M. usitatus and other thrips species has been estimated to be about 30%. Yield losses in soyabeans, adzuki beans and other legumes due to infestation of M. usitatus alone has not been assessed (Chang, 1988c).