Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous; body dark brown, tarsi and apical third of mid and hind tibiae yellow; antennal segments I and III-V yellow, II and VI brown. Fore wing brown, with white transverse band sub-basally and diffuse paler area sub-apically. Head with short, convex cheeks; occipital ridge strong and close to margin of eyes; reticulation weak on posterior collar. Antennae 8-segmented, III and IV with long apical neck, sensorium long and forked; VIII about five times as long as VII. Pronotum reticulate, with semicircular hind margin and no long setae. Metanotum with triangular area of strong sculpture. Fore wing second vein with six or seven setae, first vein with about six setae at base and one or two distally. Abdominal tergites III–VII with arched sculpture; VIII with complete comb of long microtrichia; X with median split complete.

Related and similar species

A total of 25 species are listed in Helionothrips, three from Africa, one from South America that is possibly not congeneric (Mound & Marullo, 1996), one from Australia, and the rest from the Asian region. Although H. errans was described from England, it probably originated somewhere in South East Asia. It differs from the Australian species, H. spinosus, in having the comb on tergite VIII complete medially.

Distribution data

This species has been found in greenhouses in USA and Europe. It is known from Taiwan, and in Australia it has been studied from Perth on the West coast and from Newcastle on the East coast.

Biological data

Host plants

Dendrobium, Laelia (Orchidaceae)

Life history

Adults and larvae occur on leaves

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

  • Helionothrips errans (Williams)

Original name and synonyms

  • Heliothrips errans Williams, 1916

Oz thrips taxa