Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body bicoloured, abdomen brown, head, thorax and legs yellow; antennal segments mainly brown; fore wings brown with base pale. Antennae 8-segmented, III–IV slender with apical neck bearing short forked sensorium. Head wider than long; 3 pairs of ocellar setae, pair III just within anterior margins of ocellar triangle, slightly longer than one ocellus; 5 pairs of small postocular setae in transverse row; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum transverse, with one pair of posteroangular setae; discal area transversely striate/reticulate. Metanotum reticulate medially; median setae long, wide apart and at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Prosternal ferna almost complete medially; mesofurca with spinula, metafurca with no spinula. Fore wing first vein with 2 widely spaced setae distally, second vein with at least 12 setae; clavus with 5 veinal and one discal seta; posterior fringe cilia wavy. Abdominal tergites with neither craspedum nor ctenidia; tergites V–VIII discal area with no sculpture medially; VIII with complete comb of long slender microtrichia. Sternites without discal setae; VII median pair of setae arise submarginally.

Male macroptera. Similar to female but smaller, anterior abdominal segments and antennal segments I–III yellow; tergite VIII with complete marginal comb; IX with median setal pair strong; sternites III–VII with transverse pore plate.

Related and similar species

A total of 49 species are listed currently in the genus Oxythrips. However, 12 of these are known only as fossils, and all but two of the other species are from the Holarctic. The genus is probably related to Anaphothrips, but is distinguished because all of the species have a single pair of pronotal posteroangular setae. O. austropalmae has the metanotal setae long and arising at the anterior margin of this sclerite, in contrast to the only other member of the genus recorded from Australia.

Distribution data

General distribution

Papua New Guinea, Australia.

Australian distribution


Biological data

Life History

Breeding and feeding in flowers.

Host plants

Normanbyia normanbyiArchontophoenix alexandraeCocos nucifera (Palmae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Oxythrips austropalmae Mound & Tree

Original name and synonyms

  • Oxythrips austropalmae Mound & Tree, 2010: 36


Mound LA & Tree DJ. 2011. New records and four new species of Australian Thripidae (Thysanoptera) emphasise faunal relationships between northern Australia and Asia. Zootaxa 2764: 35-48. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt02764p048.pdf

Oz thrips taxa