Thysanoptera in Australia

The Terebrantia is one of the two suborders of the Thysanoptera. It comprises a total of 13 families, but five of these are known only from fossils (Mound 2011c). Of the remaining eight families five are represented in Australia, but Heterothripidae occur only in the New World, and Fauriellidae and Stenurothripidae both have discontinuous distributions between the west coast of the USA and the eastern Mediterranean and eastern Africa. Terebrantia species are largely phytophagous, feeding in flowers and on leaves, with a few species predatory on small arthropods and a very few feeding on mosses. One genus in Brazil comprises species that are ectoparasitic on Homoptera (Cavalleri et al 2010). All Terebrantia have two pupal instars subsequent to the two larval instars, and females usually have a distinctive saw-like ovipositor.

Families in Australia


This family of small fungus-feeding thrips comprises three genera and 15 species worldwide, but mainly from the Neotropics. Two genera and four species are recorded as introduced to Australia.


This family of flower-living thrips comprises four genera and 65 species. The largest genus, Melanthrips, is mainly Palaearctic, but two genera and 13 species are known from Australia (Pereyra & Mound 2009).


There are 24 genera and 195 species worldwide in this family, of which 10 genera and 30 species are known from Australia. These thrips are either obligate or facultative predators of small arthropods. Species of the genera in the temperate areas occur mainly in flowers, but species of several small genera that are restricted to the tropics live on leaves.


This, the second largest family of Thysanoptera, comprises over 2000 species in 290 genera worldwide, but with many taxa remaining undescribed. The Australian fauna comprises 279 described species in 81 genera.


This family includes a single species that is known only from three sites: Belem in Brazil, Singapore, and Brisbane Forest Park, Queensland (Tree 2009). Adults and larvae have been collected from dead twigs, where they presumably feed on fungal hyphae.

Oz thrips taxa