New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1984) 7: 157- 164

Thrips Pollination in the Lowland Forest of New Zealand

Research Article
Scott A. Norton 1,2
  1. Department of Botany, Victoria University of Wellington, Private Bag, Wellington, New Zealand.
  2. Present address: P.O. Box B-13, Tulane University Medical School, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.

Thrips, in particular Thrips obscuratus, were collected from the flowers of 13 species of trees common in the lowland forest of New Zealand. Many New Zealand trees have flowers which are small, shallow, clustered, and lack bright colours. This un specialized floral form is suitable for pollination by small insects, such as flies and thrips. Thrips obscuratus is among the most frequent visitors to the flowers of some trees. The pollen loads of the thrips and the breeding system of the plants indicate thrips may function as effective pollinators.