Australian Thysanoptera - Biological diversity and a diversity of studies

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Studies in Australia on thrips have had extensive impacts worldwide. In behaviour, the latest definition of eusociality is derived from work on the radiation of thrips on Acacia species in central Australia, and these Acacia thrips also having been used to develop the concept of ‘model clades’ for analysing the evolution of behavioural and ecological diversity. In ecology, the concept of the lack of density dependent factors in population dynamics was elaborated through studies on the plague thrips of southern Australia. In virology, thrips were first shown in Australia to be the vectors of tospoviruses, although these viruses, their vectors and the plants attacked are all non-native to this continent. Work in Australia has included the development of electronic methods of illustration, identification and information transfer about thrips, including the use of molecular methods for pest species recognition, and considerable advances have been made in Australia in our knowledge of the relationships between thrips and plants, from polyphagy to pollination.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Diversity
  • Eusociality
  • Pest recognition
  • Thrips
  • Virus vectors

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  • Laurence A. Mound

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