Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous; body dark brown, tarsi yellow; antennal segments I-V yellow also basal half of VI. Fore wing brown, with small white patch 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 about 10 setae, first vein with about six setae at base and one or two distally. Abdominal tergites III–VII with distinctive arched sculpture; VIII with comb of long microtrichia interrupted medially; X with median split complete.

Male with small circular glandular area near anterior margin on sternites VI–VIII; tergite IX with two pairs of spine-like setae followed by group of about six small tubercles.

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), H. spinosus from Australia, and the rest from the Asian region.

Distribution data

Common in Eucalyptus sclerophyll forests of eastern Australia, also Lord Howe Island.

Biological data

Host plants

Smilax australis (Smilacaceae)

Life history

Adults and larvae are sometimes abundant on the older leaves of the scrambling vine, Smilax

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Helionothrips spinosus Wilson

Original name and synonyms

  • Helionothrips spinosus Wilson, 1975

Oz thrips taxa