Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous; strongly bicoloured, head and thorax dark brown, abdomen yellow; legs and antennal segments III–V yellw; fore wing slender, uniformly pale or a little darker at base, with no long setae. Antennae 7-segmented, V–VII form single unit; sensoria on III and IV slender, each with one simple sensorium. Head constricted behind eyes. Metanotum with prominent narrow triangular area, slightly prolonged at posterior. Median pair of tergal setae minute; VIII with no comb; one pair of posteromarginal ssetae on IX extends beyond apex of X. Male tergite IX without stout dorsal setae; pore plate present near anterior margin of sternites III–VII.

Related and similar species

Three species are described in this genus. P. rugosus from Malaysia has a distinctive elongate head that is constricted behind the eyes. In contrast, P. peringueyi from South Africa and India (Wilson, 1975), and P. longiceps from countries further east, are very similar in structure. They are distinguished because the base of the forewing is much darker in the western populations than in those from the eastern populations, but it is far from clear that this is a valid or stable distinction . Populations in northwestern Australia are intermediate in colour, and males in these populations have much smaller sternal pore plates than males from other populations.

Distribution data

New Guinea, Fiji, widespread across tropical Australia.

Biological data

Host plants

Breeding on various Poaceae

Life history

Adults and larvae live on the leaves of grasses

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Phibalothrips longiceps (Karny)

Original name and synonyms

  • Heliothrips longiceps Karny, 1913
  • Phibalothrips exilis Hood, 1918

Oz thrips taxa