Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female aptera. Body, legs and antennae dark brown. Antennae 8-segmented, VI with partial, oblique suture producing an apparent 9-segmented condition; III–IV with simple sensorium. Head weakly reticulate, with no ocelli; ocellar setae III as long as diameter of 3 eye facets. Pronotum almost without sculpture medially, with no long setae. Meso and metanota transverse. Prosternal basantra with no setae; ferna continuous medially; meso and metafurca without spinula. Tergites with several lines of sculpture medially; posterior margin of I–VIII with well-developed craspedum; posteroangular setal pair arising in front of margin. Sternites III–VI with well-developed craspedum consisting of 5 lobes; VII with median craspedum lobe not developed, median pair of setae arising in front of margin.

Male aptera. Smaller and paler than female; sternite III antecostal region with transverse pore area opening into a large vesicle within the third abdominal segment; tergite VIII with 2 pairs of stout thorn-like setae.

Related and similar species

Only two species are recognised in the genus Apterothrips. The second species, A. secticornis, has seven lobes to each sternal craspedum and is probably restricted to the northern hemisphere. The head and pronotum is similar to that found in Anaphothrips species, but the lobed craspeda on the sternites are characteristic.

Distribution data

General distribution

Widespread south of California along western coast of South America; also Falkland Islands, New Zealand and Australia.

Australian distribution

Western Australia, Tasmania.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Erigeron (Asteraceae), Medicago sativa (Fabaceae), Allium (Liliaceae), grasses (Poaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Apterothrips apteris (Daniel)

Original name and synonyms

  • Sericothrips apteris Daniel, 1904: 295
  • Sericothrips stanfordii Moulton, 1907: 43
  • Sericothrips ineptus Ahlberg, 1922: 271
  • Apterothrips delamarei Bournier, 1962: 231


Mound LA & Marullo R. 1996. The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1-488.

Oz thrips taxa