Occurrence, impact, and management of Kurtomathrips morrilli: A new pest of cotton on the Texas high plains
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Kurtomathrips morrilli Moulton is a thrips that occasionally attacks and severely damages cotton in the southwestern U.S., but there is little information available regarding this pest. In 2011, the south plains region of Texas was severely impacted by drought, which might have been a key factor resulting in an outbreak of K. morrilli. This outbreak encompassed an estimated 133,550 hectares of cotton (33% of total acreage in region), approximately 33,600 hectares of which received insecticide applications for this species. The outbreak resulted in an estimated loss of 24 million pounds of cotton lint, resulting in more than $20 million in damage and control costs. Water-deficit stressed cotton appeared to be most severely affected by K. morrilli, whereas cool temperatures ( 30C) and precipitation appeared to mediate the outbreak. Regression analyses suggest that as few as 173 thrips-cumulative-insect-days per leaf during boll filling might be economically sufficient to justify an insecticide application targeting K. morrilli. Insecticide efficacy tests determined that the neonicotinoid insecticides acetamiprid, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, and the organophosphate insecticide, acephate, were highly effective in mediating K. morrilli infestations. The Cotton Foundation 2012.