STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Thrip head. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of the head of a thrip, showing its large compound eyes. Thrips (order Thysanoptera) feed on sap by piercing plant cells with their paired maxillary stylets (not seen), which form a feeding tube. They are pests of commercial crops due to the damage caused by feeding on developing flowers or vegetables. This causes discolouration and deformities, reducing the quality of the crop. They are also considered the primary vector of plant diseases and viruses. Magnification: x250 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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