Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female apterous; antennae 8-segmented, III and IV with small, circular and lens-shaped sensorium; Head smaller than pronotum, vertex with pair of long ocellar setae. Pronotum trapezoidal, paired longitudinal sutures laterally, one pair of long posteroangular setae. Mesonotum, metanotum and tergites with no lines of sculpture. Tergite IX median setae shorter than sub-median pair; tergite X trichobothria smaller than spiracle on tergite VIII, axial seta short or absent.

Male similar, but vertex developed as extensive pore plate; fore legs enlarged with pointed tubercle at inner apex of tibia; mesonotum, metanotum and tergites with several transverse lines of sculpture.

Related and similar species

About 15 species are currently included in the genus Merothrips, most being from the Neotropics (Mound & O’Neill, 1974).

Distribution data

Described from New Zealand, this species has also been seen from Australia (Brisbane and Canberra), and has been recorded from the Amsterdam and St Paul Islands in the southern Indian Ocean.  The species possibly originated in South America (Mound & Walker, 1982).

Biological data

Host plants


Life history

Breeding on dead leaves and dead branches

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Merothrips brunneus Ward

Original name and synonyms

Merothrips brunneus Ward, 1969

Oz thrips taxa