Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Macropterous female brown, tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow, also antennal segments I–III; fore wing with sub-basal pale band, then brown but paler toward apex. Head with occipital ridge not close to eyes; ocellar triangle with irregular markings; ocellar setae III on anterior to margins of triangle; three pairs of postocular setae, median pair long. Antennal segment III slender, sensorium short, not extending beyond basal fifth of segment IV. Pronotum densely striate, blotch anterior margin deeply emarginate. Metanotal sculpture mainly transverse, with band of microtrichia on posterior fifth. Fore wing with one seta near apex displaced onto second vein from first vein; no sub-apical lobe. Tergites I–VIII densely covered with microtrichia, and with complete posteromarginal comb. Sternites with no discal microtrichia medially, sternites III–VII with lobed craspedum medially bearing long microtrichia.

Micropterous female with wing lobe shorter than width of thorax; metanotum with microtrichia on more than half of sclerite.

Male with small circular pore plate on sternites IV–VII.

Related and similar species

Nine species are currently recognised in this genus, from widely different parts of the world. However, the generic classification is thought to be a poor reflection of phylogeny, and Sericothripsappears to comprise species which show some level of wing-length reduction.

Distribution data

Western Europe, but introduced to Hawaii and Australia (Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia)

Biological data

Host plants

Ulex europea (Fabaceae)

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves; used as a biological control agent against its weedy host plant (Ireson et al., 2008).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

  • Sericothrips staphylinus Haliday

Original name and synonyms

  • Sericothrips staphylinus Haliday, 1836

Oz thrips taxa