Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous. Body and legs brown; antennal segment III yellow with extreme apex brown, IV–IX brown; fore wing dark at extreme base but clavus largely pale, with two transverse dark bands, median pale band shorter than distal dark band, apex clear with ring vein pale.

Head with postocular region as long as eye length; maxillary palp 3-segmented. Antennae 9-segmented; segment III long and slender with linear sensorium scarcely 0.3 as long as segment, IV with sensorium almost 0.5 as long as segment and curved distally, without internal markings. Mesonotum with no accessory setae medially. Metanotal reticles without internal markings.

Abdominal tergite I with faint transverse lines anteromedially; trichobothria on X no larger than base of major setae on X. Sternites with 4 pairs of marginal setae, discal setae not developed; sternite VII accessory setae arising well in front of margin.

Male similar to female but smaller; antennal segment III almost fuscous rather than yellow, but abdominal segments III–V sometimes paler than II and VI. Abdominal tergite I with two longitudinal ridges; IV–V each with pair of irregular tubercles; IX with paired bifurcate claspers postero-laterally, posteroangular pair of setae longer than claspers. Sternites without discal setae.

Related and similar species

The genus Aeolothrips is essentially Holarctic, and currently includes about 90 species.  However, A. fasciatus can be recognised unequivocally only in the male sex, in which the posteroangular setae on tergite IX are longer than the claspers. Females are closely similar to A. intermedius, a very common species in Europe. However, A. intermedius has the third antennal segment less slender than in A. fasciatus and more extensively brown toward the apex. A. fasciatipennis Blanchard from Chile is probably a parthenogenetic strain of A. fasciatus, and apparently identical females are known also from California. A. fasciatus is recorded from Tasmania, and also from New Zealand, on the basis of males and females. It is readily distinguished from Desmothrips species by the very different banding pattern on the forewings with the wing apex pale.

Distribution data

General distribution

Described from Europe, this species has been recorded in various parts of the world. However, records based only on females may not be correct, because A. fasciatuscan be distinguished unequivocally only in the male sex. Males of this species have been studied from Finland, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, Azores, Hokkaido, New Zealand and Tasmania.

Australian distribution

The species is not recorded from mainland Australia, but both sexes have been studied from Tasmania.

Biological data

Host plants

Found in the flowers of plants in various families, but with no recorded specificity

Life history

Breeding in flowers, but presumably acting also as a facultative predator of other thrips

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Aeolothrips fasciatus (Linneaeus)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips fasciatus Linneaeus, 1758
Coleothrips trifasciatus Fitch, 1855
Aeolothrips atricornis Maltbaek, 1927
Aeolothrips justiciae Post, 1961

Oz thrips taxa