Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs yellow; fore wing pale; antennal segment I pale, II light brown, III–V yellow with apex light brown, VI–VIII brown. Antennae 8-segmented, I with no dorso-apical setae, sensorium simple on III, forked on 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 3-segmented. Pronotum slightly wider at posterior than anterior; posteroangular inner setal pair shorter than outer pair. Prosternal basantra with no setae; ferna continuous medially; metafurca without spinula, mesofurca with 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 weak, not extending to posterior margin, posterior marginal pair I equal in length to 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 stout dark processes; sternite III 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. engaius differs from the other species in having the maxillary palps elongate and 3-segmented, the sensoria on the fourth antennal segment forked, and the median dorsal setae on tergite IX of females short and slender. The male has a pore plate only on sternite III, and paired conical processes on tergite IX.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

Northern Territory (Macdonnell Ranges)

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Triodia hubbardi, Neurachne tenuifolia and Digitaria brownii (Poaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Aliceathrips engaius Mound

Original name and synonyms

  • Aliceathrips engaius Mound, 2011: 10


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