Thrips species (Insecta: Thysanoptera) associated with flowers in a restinga fragment in northeastern Brazil

<div><p>Abstract With the growing volume of research involving Thysanoptera in Brazil, studies were carried out to improve our understanding of the diversity of thrips in areas where the fauna has historically been neglected. Accordingly, we recorded the diversity of thrips (Insecta: Thysanoptera) associated with a restinga fragment located on the campus of the State University of Ceará (UECE), Fortaleza, Ceará state, and computed the estimated richness and diversity indices. Samples were collected from 2011 through 2013 from flowers of 86 plant species. The material was taken to the Laboratory of Insect-Plant Interaction, where thrips were screened under stereomicroscope. We collected 456 adults and 58 immatures, representing 14 species, in addition to one unidentified species of Treherniella. Microcephalothrips abdominalis was found on a large number of host plants, and Frankliniella insularis was the most common species. About two-thirds of the total richness of thrips species was associated with three plant families (Amaranthaceae, Caesalpiniaceae and Poaceae); six thrips species were each associated with only one plant species. The richness of the species collected was close to that estimated by Bootstrap and Jackknife 1 analysis. The Shannon-Wiener (H’) and Simpson (D) diversity indexes were 1,7607 and 0.7769, respectively. Although the species are common, 46 new associations between plant species and thrips were established, 13 of which are true host associations, which demonstrates the importance of coastal vegetation in maintaining populations of thrips.</p></div>