Female macroptera. Body brown, fore tibiae, tarsi and antennal segment III paler; fore wings brown. Antennae 7-segmented, III–IV with small, usually forked, sensorium. Head wider than long, only 2 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III very short and anterolateral to ocellar triangle; postocular setae small. Pronotum wider at posterior than anterior margin, with 2 pairs of short posteroangular setae, posterior margin with 5 pairs of setae; prosternal basantra with several setae. Metanotum with linear sculpture forming lens-like shape; campaniform sensilla present, median setae arise behind anterior margin. Mesofurca with spinula. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, second vein with about 7 setae; clavus with 5 marginal setae. Tergites with sculpture lines medially on anterior half but not on posterior half; campaniform sensilla posterior to median setae; paired ctenidia present on tergites V–VIII, on VIII posteromesad to spiracle; tergite posterior margins with craspedum of triangular lobes, comb on VIII with slender microtrichia arising from broad bases. Sternites without craspeda, with double row of discal setae.
Male macroptera or microptera. Similar to female but smaller and paler; tergite VIII posterior margin with craspedum of triangular lobes similar to preceding segments; sternites with craspeda of triangular lobes, III–VII with small circular pore plate.
There is only one species in the genus Microcephalothrips, and this shares many character states with the species of Thrips genus, in particular the abdominal ctenidia that are posteromesad to the spiracles on tergite VIII. However, the prosternum bears several setae, unlike any species of Thrips, and there is a distinctive lobed craspedum on the abdominal tergites.
Known from tropical and subtropical areas around the world.
Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia.
Breeding in flowers
Various Asteraceae, sometimes large populations in Helianthus sunflowers.
Microcephalothrips abdominalis (Crawford DL)
Mound LA & Marullo R. 1996. The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1-488.