Naio thrips (sometime called myoporum thrips) were detected on Oʻahu on November 23rd. Naio thrips attack our native Hawaiian naio tree (Myoporum sandwicense). These thrips are small sucking insects with feathery wings. They harm the naio by sucking the tissue out of the new leaves, causing severe damage and eventually kill the plants.
Since the Oʻahu detection, multiple agencies and many private citizens have come together to remove infested plants. Right now, significant natural sites such as Kaʻena Point and the Kaiwi coastline do not show signs of thrips and these areas are being regularly monitored.
OISC’s first priority is to remove all infested plants on the island. Numerous land managers and private citizens have been cooperating with this effort and there has been much support to to stop the spread of naio thrips in order to save the wild populations.
Protecting wild naio populations is a priority. Landscaped naio plants provide harbors for thrips to move around the island. Neither organic or pesticide treatments are effective for prevention. Removal is needed to stop the spread. So while OISC is working to remove infested naio, removal of healthy naio in landscaped areas can help stop thrips from working their way across the island towards these wild populations.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! …we can’t do it alone…
- Remove urban/landscaped plants BEFORE they get infested…we’ll replace it with a native plant.
- Monitor – If you decline to remove your unifested plant, monitor every week for damage to leaves.
- Report damaged leaves immediately to the Oahu Invasive Species Committee (OISC) for removal and safe disposal.
- Report naio plant locations: use the form below to let us know where plants are located.
- Do not plant naio. Plant other native or non-invasive plants. You can visit, Plant Pono for healthy landscaping choices. Recommended alternatives are: koaia, a’ali’i, alahe’e, and ‘ōhi‘a…and for naio papa use ulei.
- Do not move naio between islands.
Naio Thrips: these tiny insects are native to Tazmania 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 can be found on many Myoporum species, but is especially noticeable on our native naio species. The leaf curling and gall formation effects of thrips on naio plants will be noticed before any insects are seen. These thrips are tiny, about 2mm long, and are shin, dark brown.
Naio thrips damage includes severe gall-like distortion of the new leaves and terminals. The insects suck out the healthy tissues of new leaves. The stunting of growth at the terminal ends of the plant occurs and leaf curling or folding is common. Eventually new leaves stop forming and the plants will die. 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 can be transported to new areas in infested landscaping plants, on people, and locally via the wind. This pest was first noticed on the island of Hawaiʻi in March 2009 and has since spread across the Big Island (map). There is still a chance of preventing this pest from establishing throughout the state. They haven’t been detected on Kauaʻi or Maui County. Please report any sightings to 643-PEST or OISC if seen on Oʻahu.
Outreach Publications: Naio Thrips Rack Card
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: