Thysanoptera in Australia

Distinguishing features

Female apterous or macropterous; antennae 8-segmented, III and IV with transversely oval sensorium; Head smaller than pronotum, vertex with pair of long ocellar setae. Pronotum trapezoidal, median area with series of medially converging longitudinal lines, posterior area with a few transverse lines; paired longitudinal sutures laterally, one pair of long posteroangular setae. Mesonotum, metanotum and tergites with faint sculpture lines. Tergite IX median setae longer than sub-median pair; tergite X trichobothria larger than spiracle on tergite VIII, axial seta as long as tergal major setae. Macroptera with large compound eyes; fore wing second vein extending toward wing base from cross vein.

Male apterous, vertex developed as extensive pore plate; antennal sensoria smaller than those of female; fore legs enlarged in large males, with pointed tubercle at inner apex of tibia; pronotum with hour-glass pattern of lines medially less clearly defined than in female, 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 Illinois, this species is widespread in eastern USA, and has also been studied from Hawaii, Panama, Kenya and India. A single male was identified as this species from Fitzroy Falls, NSW (Mound & O’Neill, 1974).

Biological data

Host plants


Life history

Breeding on dead leaves and dead branches.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Merothrips morgani Hood

Original name and synonyms

  • Merothrips morgani Hood, 1912
  • Merothrips hawaiiensis Moulton, 1937

Oz thrips taxa