Applied Entomology and Zoology

, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 117–128 | Cite as

In the presence of red light, cucumber and possibly other host plants lose their attractability to the melon thrips Thrips palmi (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)

  • Mika Murata
  • Takahiko Hariyama
  • Yumi Yamahama
  • Mina Toyama
  • Izumi Ohta
Original Research Paper


The melon thrips, Thrips palmi Karny (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), is a serious agricultural pest of many crops. Previous studies have shown that red light decreases the number of Thrips palmi in greenhouses. In order to understand how red light affects T. palmi, we examined the behavioral responses to host plants that were irradiated with a red light-emitting diode panel (660 nm) in an environment with natural or fluorescent (normal-white) light. When T. palmi were allowed to move freely around in the experimental arena, we found that fewer individuals were attracted to plants irradiated by red light than to plants under normal light illumination. We then used a sticky trap of green coloration to exclude olfactory and visual stimuli associated with the host plants in order to test binary choice behavior in T. palmi. The number of thrips attracted to the green sticky trap irradiated with red light was approximately half of that without red light irradiation. This is the first study to show that an addition of red light can change the behavior of insects, leading to an avoidance of green targets in an environment of normal illumination.


Red light Additional irradiation Pest control Thysanoptera Light-emitting diode (LED) 



We express our sincere thanks to Eiji Yano (Kindai University, Japan), Ryusuke Ishikawa and Makoto Doi (Shizuoka Prefecture Research Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, Japan), and Manabu Shibao and Kanako Shirotsuka (Research Institute of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Osaka Prefecture, Japan) for their technical advice. We wish to express our thanks to Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow for helpful linguistic suggestions and scientific comments on the manuscript. We thank Takayuki Mitsunaga (Central Region Agricultural Research Center, NARO) and Katsuyuki Kohno (NIVFS) for their advice about statistical analyses, and Tamotsu Murai (Ustunomiya University, Japan) for providing the T. palmi population. We also thank Hisayoshi Maruyama and Mitsuko Okamoto (NIVFS) for their technical assistance during this study. We are very grateful to anonymous reviewers for helpful and constructive comments. This work was supported by the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan, Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), “Technologies for creating next-generation agriculture, forestry and fishers” (funding agency: Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, NARO).

Supplementary material

13355_2017_537_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (95 kb)
Fig. S1 Reflectance spectra obtained from a cucumber leaf and the green and black trap sheets (PDF 95 kb)
13355_2017_537_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (148 kb)
Fig. S2: Illustration of the setup used in Experiment 4. A light reflector board (a white acrylic board measuring 100 cm long, 65 cm wide, and 5 mm thick) was set at a 45-degree angle relative to the floor of a black box (42 cm long, 30 cm wide, 15 cm high). A xenon lamp was placed horizontally relative to the ceiling of the black box and light irradiated toward the acrylic pipe via the reflector board. A black board (110 cm long and 65 cm wide) was set between the black box and the xenon lamp so that light was focused towards the reflector board (PDF 147 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Applied Entomology and Zoology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mika Murata
    • 1
  • Takahiko Hariyama
    • 2
  • Yumi Yamahama
    • 2
  • Mina Toyama
    • 2
  • Izumi Ohta
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Vegetable Pest Management and Functional Analysis, Institute of Vegetable and Floriculture ScienceNARO (NIVFS)TsuJapan
  2. 2.Hamamatsu University School of MedicineHamamatsuJapan

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