Florida growers should be on the lookout for two new exotic pests that could be a detriment to a variety of crops.
The Sunshine State has its share of pests, and two new exotic pests have been added to the list since the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services’ Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI) issued pest alerts for each. According to a Growing Produce article, one pest, Thrips parvispinus, was collected at a Central Florida greenhouse, and the other pest, the horntail snail, was collected in Coconut Grove, FL. See the details of both pests from the article below.
Details of New Exotic Pests
The article shared the following identification information for the exotic pests
Thrips parvispinus: “Females and males differ in size and color. Females are nearly 1 mm long, with brown head and prothorax, yellowish brown meso- and metathorax and black abdomen; forewings are dark, with light-colored base; the third antennal segment and the base of the fourth and fifth segments are light colored (either yellow or white). Males are 0.6 mm long and evenly yellow.”
This pest feeds on “papaya, peppers, potatoes, eggplants, beans, shallots, and strawberries.”
Horntail Snail: “The common name “horntail snail” is given to M. indica because of the pointed, fleshy protrusion (caudal horn) at the tip of its tail. The caudal horn is found in only one other species in Florida, Ovachlamys fulgens (Gude) (Helicarionidae), known as the jumping snail.
The horntail snail has a shell 16 mm to 18.5 mm in diameter, about the size of a dime, which is amber colored and delicate. When alive and relaxed, M. indica has a flap of flesh that extends backward onto or around the shell. This character will separate M. indica from all other terrestrial snails in Florida. The shell is not ribbed and the umbilicus is partially open. The aperture of the shell is not flared around its edges.”
The snail feeds on “cole crops, beans, lettuce, moringa, yams, chrysanthemum, and cucurbits.”
Those who suspect they have one or the other of these pests should contact FDACS-DPI.
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