Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body dark brown, tarsi yellow, antennal segments III-IV with apical neck sharply white or yellow; fore wings brown but slightly paler at base. Antennae 8-segmented; segment I with 2 dorso-apical setae; III with 2 stout dark dorsal setae; III-IV with constricted apical neck, sensorium forked; VIII longer than VII. Head as wide as long; 3 pairs of ocellar setae, pair III just inside anterior margins of ocellar triangle, longer than distance between compound eyes; postocular setae IV as long as distance between hind ocelli. Pronotum with 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae; posterior margin with 5 pairs of setae of which the submedian pair is more than twice as long as the discal setae. Metanotum reticulate medially, campaniform sensilla present; median setae arise at anterior margin. Mesofurca with spinula. Fore wing first vein with 2 setae on distal half; second vein with complete row of setae. Tergites without sculpture between median setae, and without ctenidia; tergite VIII posteromarginal comb coprising10-20 fine microtrichia laterally with a broad gap medially. Sternites without discal seta, median pair of marginal setae on sternite VII arise in front of margin, setae S2 closer to median setae than to setae S3.

Male macroptera. Similar to female but smaller and more slender; antennal segment VI unusually long; tergite IX with pair of small spine-like processes on posterior margin; sternites III–VII each with more than 25 small circular pore plates.

Related and similar species

The genus Pezothrips currently includes nine species, of which eight are restricted in distribution to eastern and central Europe. P. kellyanus is the only member of the genus that is more widespread, and this species is presumed to be introduced to Australia.

Distribution data

General distribution

Spain, Turkey, southern Italy, southern France, Sicily, Cyprus, Greece, New Caledonia, Australia.

Australian distribution

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

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding in scented flowers and immature fruit.

Host plants

Various unrelated plants with scented, white flowers. Considered a serious pest of Citrus spp (Rutaceae) in southern Australia because of feeding scars on fruit.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Pezothrips kellyanus (Bagnall)

Original name and synonyms

  • Physothrips kellyanus Bagnall, 1916: 219
  • Physothrips livii Girault, 1930: 2


Webster KW, Cooper P & Mound LA. 2006. Studies on Kelly’s Citrus Thrips (Pezothrips kellyanus Bagnall): sex attractants, host associations and country of origin.Australian Journal of Entomology 45: 67-74.

Oz thrips taxa