Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body almost white, forewings uniformly blackish brown; antennal segments II–VII increasingly brown. Head wider than long, with no sculpture lines; ocellar setae small, pair III arise lateral to ocellar triangle. Antennae 7-segmented; segments III–IV with sensorium forked in female but simple in male, segment VI inner margin with long sensorium arising close to base of segment, VII long. Pronotum with transverse sculpture lines and pair of stout transverse apodemes latero-medially; 4 pairs of posteromarginal setae, two pairs of long posteroangular setae. Metanotum with elongate reticulation, median pair of setae far behind anterior margin. Fore wing first vein with two prominent setae on distal half, cilia arising close to anterior margin. Tergites with fine microtrichia on lateral sculpture lines; median pair of tergal 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 genus Leucothrips includes five species, all from the New World. The genus is not clearly distinguished from the Neotropical genus Halmathrips, and is also closely related toPseudodendrothrips. The sensoria on antennal segments III and IV vary between species and also between sexes, being either forked or simple, but all of the species have 7-segmented antennae.

Distribution data

Area of origin

Probably neotropical


Brazil, Australia, India, Europe, U.S.A.

Biological data

Life history

Breeding on fronds

Host plants

Adiantum sp., Davallia sp., Pteris creticaPteris argyraeaHypolepis rugulosa

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

Minor damage to cultivated ferns

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Leucothrips nigripennis Reuter

Original name and synonyms

  • Leucothrips nigripennis Reuter, 1904: 106
  • Microthrips leucus Herrick, 1927: 278
  • Sporagiothrips acuminatus Daniel, 1985: 528

Oz thrips taxa