The accumulation of two proteins, the nucleocapsid (N) protein and a non-structural (NSs) protein both encoded by the S RNA of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV), was followed in larvae during development and in adults of Frankliniella occidentalis after ingesting the virus for short periods on infected plants. The amounts of both proteins increased, as shown by ELISA and Western blot analysis, within 2 days above the levels ingested, indicating multiplication of TSWV in these insects. Accumulation of these proteins and of virus particles was further confirmed by in situ immunolabelling of the salivary glands and other tissues of adult thrips. The accumulation of large amounts of N and NSs protein, the occurrence of several vesicles with virus particles in the salivary glands and the massive numbers of virus particles in the salivary gland ducts demonstrate that the salivary glands are a major site of TSWV replication. The occurrence of virus particles in the salivary vesicles is indicative of the involvement of the Golgi apparatus in the maturation of the virus particles and its transport to the salivary ducts.