Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body varying from yellow to largely yellow with light brown markings on fore coxae, metascutum, laterally on mesonotum, and tergites I–VI; antennal segments I–II yellow, III–V light brown at apex, VI–VIII light brown; fore wings pale. Head small, mouth cone long, extending between fore coxae; ocellar setae III 2.0–2.5 times as long as the width of a hind ocellus, arising between paired tangents joining inner and outer margins of fore and hind ocelli; remaining setae on head very small, 4 postocular setae. Antennal segments unusually short, II without microtrichia, III-IV with forked sensorium; VIII twice as long as VII. Pronotum almost without sculpture; anteromarginal and anteroangular setae scarcely larger than discal setae, 2-5 anteromarginal minor setae; 2 pairs of posteroangular setae variable in length, sometimes more than twice diameter of antennal segment II; 5 pairs of posteromarginal setae. Mesonotum with lateral setae much stouter than both posterior pairs. Metanotum weakly sculptured medially, one or both posterior campaniform sensilla sometimes modified to produce a seta. Fore wing unusually short, first vein with about 15 setae, second vein with about 10 setae. Tergites I–II with median setae half as long as median length of tergite, 3-5 transverse lines of sculpture medially; tergites V–VIII with paired ctenidia; posteromarginal comb on VIII with slender microtrichia arising from triangular bases; tergite IX median setae extending beyond apex of tergite X.

Female aptera. Similar to macroptera except, ocelli not developed; mesonotum with group of 4–6 setae at lateral margin; metanotum transverse, median pair of major setae arising well behind anterior margin, posterolaterally with group of 2–4 setae; tergites I–V usually with 3 pairs of long and equidistant discal setae, V–VIII each with paired ctenidia.

Male aptera. Similar to female aptera but smaller; tergites I–VIII each with 3 pairs of stout discal setae; ctenidia not developed on tergites V–VII, sometimes faintly indicated on VII; tergite IX with median discal setae small, arising between median campaniform sensilla, lateral pair long; sternites III–VII with broadly transverse pore plate.

Related and similar species

Frankliniella species all have a pair of setae in front of the first ocellus, a complete row of setae on both veins of the forewing, and a pair of ctenidia on tergite VIII situated anterolateral to the spiracles. Most of the 180 described species are known only from the neotropics, but F. schultzeiF. occidentalis and F. williamsi have been widely introduced around the world (Kirk & Terry, 2003). Only two other species of Frankliniella are known to have completely apterous adults. One of these, F. antarctica from the subantarctic islands, lives on Poaceae and has the head strongly produced in front of the eyes. The second, F. platensis from Argentina, is possibly more closely related, but is dark brown, and has five pairs of pronotal major setae. F. lantanae possibly originated on one of the Caribbean islands (Mound et al., 2005).

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia, probably introduced from Caribbean region.

Australian distribution

Queensland, New South Wales.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on young leaves.

Host plants

Lantana spp. (Verbenaceae)

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Frankliniella lantanae Mound, Nakahara & Day

Original name and synonyms

  • Frankliniella lantanae Mound, Nakahara & Day, 2005: 280


Mound LA, Nakahara S & Day MD. 2005. Frankliniella lantanae sp.n. (Thysanoptera); a polymorphic alien thripid damaging Lantana leaves in Australia. Australian Journal of Entomology 44: 279-283.

Oz thrips taxa