Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body mainly brown with red internal pigment, abdomen paler; forewings pale at base, middle and apex, with two transverse dark bands; antennae brown with segments III–V yellow but sometimes with apices brown; tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow. Head wider than long, reticulate between ocelli; ocellar setae pair III long and spatulate, arising close to anterior margins of ocellar triangle. Antennae 9-segmented; segments III–IV with small forked sensorium, segment VI inner margin with long sensorium arising medially. Pronotum with strong equiangular reticulation, reticles with internal markings, discal setae weakly spatulate, posterior margin with three pairs of strongly spatulate setae, submedian pair small. Metanotum with elongate reticulation, median pair of setae distant from anterior margin. Fore wing first and second veins with few widely spaced large setae, four of these setae black and strongly ridged; costal setae spatulate but slender, wing apex with one stout seta, cilia arise ventrally near anterior margin. Tergites with median pair of setae longer than distance between their bases; posterior margin of VIII with complete comb; tergite X with no longitudinal split.

Related and similar species

The Australian genus Ensiferothrips includes two described species, although a further undescribed species is known from south-eastern Queensland in which the major setae are slender and not spatulate. The genus is similar to Dendrothrips in the structure of the metathorax and hind coxae, also the position of the forewing cilia, but the wing apex bears a stout seta and the costal setae are very stout. This species differs from E. secundus in having the submedian pair of setae on the posterior margin of the pronotum much shorter than the median pair, and in having remarkably stout veinal setae on the forewing.

Distribution data

Area of origin

Eastern Australia or New Caledonia


Described originally from New Caledonia, but known from Eastern Australia

Biological data

Life history

Breeding on leaves

Host plants

Trophis scandens (Moraceae), Streblus brunonianus (Moraceae)

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Ensiferothrips primus Bianchi

Original name and synonyms

  • Ensiferothrips primus Bianchi, 1945: 266

Oz thrips taxa