Thrips are very small insects, most less than 1 mm long and much longer than they are wide. They have fringed wings and assymetrical mouthparts. Thrips are unique in having mouthparts that are not bilaterally symmetrical. Most thrips species feed on plants although a few are predators. Several of the plant feeding species are also vectors of pathogens that cause plant diseases. They can also reproduce asexually giving them an advantage in quick and exponential reproduction.
Life Cycle - Thrips metamorphosis is in between simple and complete. Most thrips have a larva, prepupa, pupa, and adult stage. The prepupal stage was omitted in the image for simplicity. They can reproduce sexually or asexually. Eggs are laid either in plant tissues or in plant crevices. There are usually many generations each year.