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Pests/Insect on Hibiscus

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Question
red insect
red insect  

black insect
black insect  
Hi
There was a similar question in  1/20/2010 regarding this bug.  I am an over 30 year horticulturist....never seen this insect on Hibiscus or for that matter on any plant before.  It takes about 2-3 weeks an they can kill the plants in such a short time. The leaves turn slowly yellow.  The bugs are mostly on the trunk and woody parts of the plant. Please help to identify

Answer
Georg,

Excellent photos. This is the tube-tailed thrips. The darker one is a female. Thrips feed on plants and can do significant damage, some even transmit plant diseases. The yellowing of the leaves makes me suspect a disease, possibly transmitted by the thrips, but perhaps not. You may want to check with a plant pathologist about this. See http://www.livingwithbugs.com/thrips.html for general info about thrips feeding on plants.

Jack DeAngelis

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Organizations
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html Fine Gardening magazine

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology (the study of insects)

Awards and Honors
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

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