Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs yellow; fore wing mainly pale; antennal segment I pale, II light brown, III–V yellow with apex light brown, VI variable from yellow to brown, VII–VIII brown. Antennae 8-segmented, I with no dorso-apical setae, sensorium simple on III–IV. Head projecting conically in front of eyes, cheeks almost parallel; compound eyes with 5 pigmented facets; ocellar setae I present, III 1.5 times as long as an ocellus and arising between anterior margins of posterior ocelli; mouth cone large, maxillary palps 2-segmented. Pronotum slightly wider at posterior than anterior; posteroangular inner setal pair shorter than outer pair. Prosternal basantra with no setae; ferna continuous medially; meso and metafurca without spinula. Mesonotal anterior campaniform sensilla present. Metanotal sculpture weak; median setae near anterior margin, closer to lateral pair than to each other; no campaniform sensilla. Fore wing slender, first vein with 3 widely spaced setae on distal half; second vein with few widely spaced setae; clavus with 4–5 veinal setae, no discal seta. Tergites with weak transverse sculpture medially; II–VIII with craspedum present, campaniform sensilla near posterior margin; tergite IX median dorsal setae moderately stout, extending just beyond posterior margin, posterior marginal pair I shorter than pair II; X with median split incomplete. Sternites III–VII with 4–10 discal setae, posterior margin with no craspedum; sternite II with 2 pairs of marginal setae, III–VII with 3 pairs, all arising at margin on VII.

Male macroptera smaller and paler than female; tergite IX with pair of long well-separated processes; sternites III–VII with transverse pore plate on antecostal area.

Related and similar species

The genus Aliceathrips comprises five species, all from the northern half of Australia. A. australiensis and its two synonyms were each described from single, severely damaged, individuals. For several years the species was placed incorrectly in Bolacothrips, but the abdominal tergites have no ctenidia. The females of this species are similar in structure to those of several others in the genus, and A. australiensis may eventually prove to be a complex of species across northern Australia.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

Northern New South Wales, Queensland, Northern Territory, ?Western Australia.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Native grasses (Poaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Aliceathrips australiensis (Girault)

Original name and synonyms

  • Limothrips australiensis Girault, 1928: 3
  • Pezothrips aureus Girault, 1929: 2
  • Limothrips formosus Girault, 1929: 2


Mound LA. 2011. Grass-dependent Thysanoptera of the family Thripidae from Australia. Zootaxa 3064: 1–40. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt03064p040.pdf

Oz thrips taxa