Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs mainly yellow; abdominal tergite II light across anterior half, III–VI with median and anterolateral dark areas (varying in size and intensity); antennal segment I white, II variable from pale to brown, III yellow to light brown, IV–V brown but sometimes with bases paler; fore wings weakly shaded except at apex; tergite IX setae light brown. Head wider than long with transverse sculpture lines behind eyes, extending weakly into ocellar triangle; eyes without pigmented facets; ocellar setae III varying in position from anterior margins of triangle to close together behind first ocellus. Antennae 9-segmented, III–IV with forked sensorium; II with very few microtrichia; VI pedicellate, suture transverse between VI–VII. Pronotum with transverse lines; with no long setae, discal setae relatively robust. Metascutum reticulate; median setae close to anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with about 9–11 setae on basal half, 2–4 setae medially, 2 setae distally; second vein with 12–16 setae including 1–2 setae basal to vein fork; clavus with 6–7 veinal setae. Abdominal tergites II–IV with a few sculpture lines medially, V–VII usually without such lines; laterally with about 8 anastomosing lines with broadly based, short microtrichia, sculpture extending just mesad of setae S2; VIII with long regular posteromarginal comb. Sternite VII setae S1 far anterior to posterior margin, S2 sometimes slightly submarginal.

Male macroptera. Similar to female; tergite IX with one pair of stout median thorn-like setae, posterior margin with pair of greatly elongate, recurved “setae”; sternites III–VII with large C-shaped pore plate.

Larva II. Body and legs mainly yellow, antennal segments shaded; tergite IX shaded posterior to major setae, X shaded in distal half; all dorsal setae slightly to broadly expanded at apex; tergites with transverse rows of prominent plaques; IX posterior margin with small but prominent pointed tubercles.

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, others clearly have only 8 segments, but several species have an intermediate condition with segment VI bearing a partial and often oblique transverse suture. The uniquely recurved “setae” on the posterior margin of tergite IX in males of A. dubius do not appear to have typical setal bases, and may be homologous with smaller structures in a similar position in A. desleyae and A. epacrida.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

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

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Adults with larvae taken from Pandorea sp. (Bignoniaceae) and Xerochrysum bracteatum (Asteraceae), and adults taken from Urtica sp. (Urticaceae) and Dodonaea viscosa (Sapindaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Anaphothrips dubius (Girault)

Original name and synonyms

  • Heterothrips dubius Girault, 1926: 2
  • Anaphothrips quinqueguttatus Girault, 1927: 2
  • Anaphothrips regalis Girault, 1928: 2
  • Hemianaphothrips (Anaphothripstersus Morison, 1930: 9


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