Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous. Body yellowish brown, pronotum and legs golden yellow, antennal segments I–III yellow, IV yellow with apex brown; fore wing yellowish.

Head with postocular region about as long as eye length; one row of postocular setae, pair II displaced posteriorly out of line, II and V longer than I, III and IV; 3 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III on anterior margins of ocellar triangle and as long as median length of posterior ocelli; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Antennae 9-segmented, III at inner apex with two small inflated sensoria, IV with 2 small conical sensoria; IX elongate with several transverse lines. Pronotal posterior margin with row of about 6 moderately prominent setae; one pair of setae dorsal to and about 0.8 as long as posteroangular setae. Mesonotum medially with one pair of setae only 0.5 as long as lateral setal pair. Metanotum with weak, mainly linear, sculpture lines, concentric between posterior setal pair; metathoracic furca with no median spinula; metathoracic sternopleural sutures well-developed. Abdominal tergites I–II with no transverse lines; trichobothria on X about twice diameter of base of major setae; sternites with 4 or 5 pairs of marginal setae, but no discal setae; VII strongly emarginate medially the 2 pairs of accessory setae arise on margin (thus apparently 5 or 6 pairs of marginal setae).

Male similar to female but varying in size from larger to smaller than female, body golden yellow. Abdominal tergite I with two longitudinal ridges; large males with 2 pairs of stout spindle-shaped setae on IX; paired trichobothria present on X; sternites with 3 or 4 pairs of marginal setae, no discal setae.

Related and similar species

The genus Cycadothrips is known only from Australia, with three described species. Each of these varies greatly in size, particularly the males, but all three are very similar to each other in structure despite occuring in widely separated parts of the continent. C. albrechti differs from the other two species in having the interocellar pair of setae unusually long and wide apart, and two pairs of postocular setae considerably larger that the remaining pairs. Moreover, the paired setae on the pronotum just antero-dorsal to the posteroangular setae are unusually long, and the sensoria on antennal segment III although similar to those of C. chadwicki, are less inflated.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia

Australian distribution

Known only from Central Australia, in the Macdonell Ranges West of Alice Springs.

Biological data

Host plants

Breeding in the male cones of Macrozamia macdonelli (Zamiaceae)

Life history

Adults and larvae occur in vast numbers in the male cones of their host-plant, and adults are attracted to the female cones where they effect pollination (Mound & Terry, 2001; Terry et al., 2005).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Cycadothrips albrechti Mound & Terry

Original name and synonyms

Cycadothrips albrechti Mound & Terry, 2001

Oz thrips taxa