Myoporum thrips (Klambothrips myopori) AKA “Naio Thrips” were detected on Oʻahu on November 23rd. Since then, multiple agencies and many private citizens came together to check 619 naio (Myoporum sandwicense) plants across Oʻahu. Only 42 plants were positive for myoporum thrips (Klambothrips myopori). Positive detections were found at nine sites in Kalihi, Kapālama, ‘Ālewa Heights, Moanalua, Pearl Harbor, Waikīkī and downtown. Although that is a wide geographic range, it is important to note that sites around these infested plants but within the same watershed have been checked and are clear. These are isolated points within these watersheds, the whole watershed is not infested. Most importantly, significant natural sites such as Kaʻena Point and the Kaiwi shoreline do not show signs of thrips.
Seven sites have already been treated or are in the process of being treated. Mahalo to all the grounds and land managers that have cooperated with this effort and who have agreed to part with their naio plants in order to save the wild populations.
What can you do to help?
We need to know where naio is growing, especially in the Kalihi/Kapalama/Alewa Heights and Pearl City areas. If you know of naio plants anywhere on Oʻahu, please report it to www.643pest.org or to OISC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 808-286-4616. GPS points and photos are especially welcome! We will check the naio for thrips and put it on a monitoring list that we will create once treatment is completed.
Help us monitor: If you live or work near naio plants and would like to adopt it and check it for thrips periodically, please let us know at email@example.com. We will take your name down and contact you when we are ready to start monitoring.
Naio thrips are likely native to Australia and have caused widespread damage on the popular landscaping Myoporum plants in southern California and in the San Francisco area. They were first detected on Hawaii Island in March of 2009. Naio thrips attack the native Hawaiian naio tree. These thrips are small sucking insects with feathery wings. They harm the naio by scarring of leaf, flower, and fruit surfaces leading to lethal plant damage. Naio thrips can be found on many Myoporum species, but is especially noticeable on our native naio species (Myoporum sandwicense). The leaf curling and gall formation effects of thrips on naio plants will be noticed before any insects are seen. These thrips are small, less than 1/20th inch long, and are shiny dark brown.
Naio thrips damage includes severe gall-like distortion of the new leaves and terminals. Stunting of terminal growth occurs and leaf curling or folding is common. In Hawaiʻi, this recent pest can potentially have devastating effects on our native naio trees which are an important component of lowland and coastal dry forest and comprise roughly one half of the plant biomass of the māmane-naio forest ecosystem.
Naio thrips, which are probably native to Australia and Tasmania, can be transported to new areas in infested landscaping plants and locally via the wind. This pest was first noticed on the island of Hawaiʻi in March 2009. It appears to be spreading across the Big Island (map). There is still a chance of preventing this pest from establishing throughout Hawaiʻi. They haven’t been detected on Kauaʻi or Maui County. Please report any sightings to 643-PEST or OISC if seen on Oʻahu.
For additional information, visit
- HDOA New Pest Advisory: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/npa09-02-naiothrips.pdf
- Assessing the impacts of an invasive thrips (Klambothrips myopori) infestation on native Myoporum in Hawaii. Cynthia King, Robert Hauff, Leyla Kaufman, and Mark Wright. 2011. http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/fhm/posters/posters11/WC-DM-10-01Hauff_naiothrips.pdf
- Early Detection and Rapid Response Plans for Myoporum Thrips: