Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body, legs and antennae mainly yellow, abdominal segment X and lateral margins of IX shaded light brown, antennal segment VI light brown in distal 0.5–0.7; fore wing including clavus very weakly shaded in basal half, apex pale. Antennae 8-segmented, segment I with no dorso-apical setae, sensoria on III–IV simple. Head broadest across eyes, cheeks straight, converging to base, anterior margin projecting conically in front of eyes; compound eyes with 5 pigmented facets; ocellar setae pair I far apart; III arising between mid-points of posterior ocelli; maxillary palps 2-segmented. Pronotum weakly trapezoidal, posterior margin with 4 pairs of setae, 2 pairs of sub-equal posteroangular setae. Prosternal basantra granulate, with about 4 pairs of setae; fernal plates scarcely connected medially; meso and meta furca without spinula. Mesonotal anterior campaniform sensilla present, median pair of setae distant from posterior margin. Metanotum medially with irregular sculpture; median setae just behind anterior margin, closer to lateral pair than to each other; no campaniform sensilla. Fore wing slender, first vein with 6–8 setae on basal half, 3 widely spaced setae on distal half; second vein with about 5 widely spaced setae; clavus with 4 or 5 veinal setae but no discal seta; posterior fringe wavy. Tergal sculpture weak but complete medially; II–VIII with broad craspedum, campaniform sensilla close to posterior margin; tergites V–VIII with few microtrichia laterally; setal pair S2 on VIII no longer than S1; tergite IX as long as X, with median dorsal setae extending well beyond posterior margin of tergite, longer and stouter than posterior median setae; X with complete split. Sternites with no marginal craspedum, II with about 6 discal setae, 2 pairs of marginal setae; III–VII with irregular row of about 10–15 discal setae; VII with no submarginal setae.

Male macroptera. Similar to but smaller than female, apex of abdomen yellow; tergite IX dorsal setae small and slender; sternite II with 2 discal and 3 pairs of marginal setae, IV–VI with broad pore plate on antecostal area.

Related and similar species

The genus Masimithrips comprises six species, all from northern Australia. These share most character states with the species of Monothrips, but have only two maxillary palp segments and lack sternal craspeda. Aliceathrips species lack setae on the prosternal basantra, and have the head different in shape, and the species of Caprithrips are all wingless and have no long pronotal setae. Females of melinus are similar to those of masamii, but have antennal segment IV yellow, and the dorsal setae on tergite IX long and stout and extending well beyond the posterior margin of the tergite.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales.

Biological data

Life History

Feeding and breeding on leaves

Host plants

Native grasses, including Cymbopogon ambiguusCymbopogon refractus (Poaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Masamithrips melinus Mound

Original name and synonyms

  • Masamithrips melinus Mound, 2011: 25


Mound LA. 2011. Grass-dependent Thysanoptera of the family Thripidae from Australia. Zootaxa 3064: 1–40. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt03064p040.pdf

Oz thrips taxa