Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous. Body and legs brown, fore tarsi and apex of fore tibiae paler; antennal segment III yellowish in basal half but darker distally, IV–IX brown; fore wing brown at extreme base including all of clavus, median brown area long, continuous along posterior margin, distal pale area small not transverse, with costal vein dark.

Head with postocular region shorter than eye length; distal maxillary palp segment subdivided. Antennae 9-segmented, III–IV with sensorium extending to basal third of segment, without internal markings. Mesonotum with 2 pairs of accessory setae medially. Metanotal reticles with internal markings variable, linear to dot-like. Abdominal tergite I with transverse lines anteromedially; trichobothria on X no larger than base of major setae on X. Sternites with 4 pairs of marginal setae, V and VI with 1 or 2 pairs of discal setae laterally, VII with 3 pairs laterally but none medially.

Male similar to female but smaller. Abdominal tergite I with two longitudinal ridges. Sternites with 1 or 2 pairs of discal setae laterally, no discal setae on IX.

Related and similar species

The genus Desmothrips is known only from Australia, with 18 described species (Pereyra & Mound, 2010). D. obsoletus is unusual because the postocular region of the head is short. It differs from D. crespii and D. stepheni that also share this character state in having the forewings with distinct dark and light areas.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia

Australian distribution

Described on a single specimen from Melbourne, Victoria, and also known from southeastern Queensland, this species is common in Spring around Canberra.

Biological data

Host plants

At Canberra adult females found commonly in the flowers of Acacia pravissima (Mimosaceae)

Life history

Apparently univoltine and feeding on flower tissues, but possibly predatory on other thrips in flowers.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Desmothrips obsoletus Bagnall

Original name and synonyms

Desmothrips obsoletus Bagnall, 1924

Oz thrips taxa