Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs mainly yellow with light brown markings laterally on head, medially on meso- and metascutum, and broad T-shaped area on tergites II–VII; antennal segment I white, II–VIII brown, II darkest, III paler at base; fore wings pale or weakly shaded; major body setae brownish. Head transverse, with sculpture lines behind eyes; eyes with 6 pigmented facets; ocellar setae III just within the triangle. Antennae 8-segmented, III–IV with sensorium forked, II with weak microtrichia; VI with weak pedicel. Pronotum with no long setae. Metascutum irregularly reticulate; median setae well behind anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing first vein setal row irregular, 6–9 setae in basal group, 2–3 medially and 2 distally; second vein with about 12 setae, including one seta sometimes basal to vein fork; clavus with 5 veinal setae and one seta near base. Abdominal tergites median setae scarcely further apart than their length; indistinct dentate microtrichia on sculpture lines laterally; IV–VII with no sculpture medially, but lines extend slightly mesad of setae S2; posteromarginal comb on VIII complete long and fine.

Male macroptera. Similar to female, with long comb on tergite VIII; two pairs of short stout setae on tergite IX; sternites without pore plates.

Larva II. Major setae with apices expanded, trumpet-shaped, particularly on abdomen; tergite IX with narrow transverse dark band between setal bases, without marginal teeth.

Related and similar species

There are 43 species of Anaphothrips known from Australia, out of a total of 79 species worldwide (Mound & Masumoto, 2009). Many of these species have the antennae clearly 9-segmented, some equally clearly have only 8 segments as in A. ambiguus, but several species have an intermediate condition with segment VI bearing a partial and often oblique transverse suture. The pronotal setae are short, and the forewing clavus has no discal seta. Some species in this genus can be recognised only in the male sex.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory.

Biological data

Life history

Adults and larvae found on leaves.

Host plants

Cassinia spp. (Asteraceae), particularly C. quinquefariaC. longifolia and C. arcuata.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Anaphothrips ambiguus (Girault)

Original name and synonyms

  • Neophysopus ambiguus Girault, 1927: 2


Mound LA & Masumoto M. 2009. Australian Thripinae of the Anaphothrips genus-group (Thysanoptera), with three new genera and thirty-three new species. Zootaxa 2042: 1-76.http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2009/f/zt02042p076.pdf

Oz thrips taxa