The phenology of damage by the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), on nectarines was investigated using sticky cards and direct sampling of buds between 1993 and 1995 in the interior of British Columbia, the most susceptible period for damage by western flower thrips to nectarines. The life stage responsible for damage and variation in susceptibility to damage of 11 different nectarine varieties were determined. To evaluate the predictive ability of 2 sampling methods, thrips were counted from both buds and sticky cards before petal fall and correlated to damage levels at husk drop. Damage to nectarines was caused almost entirely by larval feeding at petal fall. No predictive relationships between adult or larval densities of western flower thrips and subsequent damage to fruit were apparent. Varieties did not differ in terms of larval densities at petal fall or the subsequent damage to fruit. Female western flower thrips oviposit in nectarine buds from dormant through bloom stages primarily in sepal tissues in the early buds, and in filaments and petals as these become available.
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Vol. 93 • No. 4