Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body brown, tarsi and antennal segment III paler; fore wings light brown. Antennae 8-segmented; segment II with external margin prolonged and bearing a terminal seta-like sensorium; III–IV each with stout simple sensorium. Head small, greatly prolonged in front of eyes; 3 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III anterolateral to fore ocellus. Pronotum trapezoidal, with 2 pairs of posteroangular setae. Metanotum reticulate, sculpture forming arches around posterior midpoint; median setae slightly smaller than lateral pair. Prosternal ferna divided medially; basantra rugose, triangular; prospinasternum transverse, narrow. Mesothoracic sternopleural sutures complete; meta pre-episternum reduced, triangular, not broadly band-like. Meso and metasternal furca with well-developed lateral flanges, without spinula. Fore wing pointed at apex; first vein with 2 setae on distal half, second vein with 4 setae. Tergites with many transverse sculpture lines, posterior margins with entire craspedum; ovipositor with distinct teeth. Sternites with 3 pairs of marginal setae, posterior margins without craspedum.

Male not known in Australia.

Related and similar species

zur Strassen (1960) provided identification keys to over 50 species of Chirothrips, but Bhatti (1990) created six new genera for species placed originally in this genus. One of these six,Arorathrips, is represented in Australia. Chirothrips appears to be a genus of Holarctic species, whereas Arorathrips is from the New World. C. frontalis belongs to a group of New World species in which the head is greatly prolonged in front of the eyes.

Distribution data

General distribution

Argentina, South and East Africa, and Australia.

Australian distribution

South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland.

Biological data

Life history

Breeding and pupating within individual florets of Poaceae.

Host plants

Various Poaceae species with no recorded specificity.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Chirothrips frontalis Williams

Original name and synonyms

  • Chirothrips frontalis Williams, 1914: 51
  • Chirothrips sulcatus John, 1922: 345


Mound LA & Palmer JM. 1972. Grass-flower infesting thrips of the genus Chirothrips Haliday in Australia. Journal of the Australian entomological Society 11: 332-339.

Oz thrips taxa