Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs yellow, extreme apex of tergite X brown, antennal segments V–VIII light brown, IV shaded in apical third; fore wings weakly shaded in basal half. Head small, three pairs of ocellar and two pairs of postocular setae shorter than setae on compound eyes; ocellar setae III between anterior margins of hind ocelli; mouth cone extending to mesosternum. Pronotum about as wide as long, narrowed to anterior, surface with weak transverse reticulation; one pair of posteroangular setae slightly prominent, posterior margin with about 6 pairs of setae. Mesonotal anterior campaniform sensilla present, median setae about one third of sclerite length from posterior margin. Metanotal median setae not at anterior margin, campaniform sensilla present; median area with irregular longitudinal reticulation but striate laterally. Fore tibia with two stout apical setae but no tooth. Fore wing slender; first vein with about 7 setae basally, 3 widely spaced setae on distal half; second vein with 4 setae; clavus with 5 veinal and one discal setae. Prosternal basantra weakly sclerotised, ferna curved forwards medially; meso and metafurca without median spinula. Abdominal tergites II–VIII with weak transverse reticulation, posterior margins with broad unlobed craspedum; paired campaniform sensilla on II–VII posterior to small, widely spaced median setae, on VIII–IX anterior to the setae; X with median split almost complete. Sternites II–VI with broadly lobed craspedum, absent medially on VII; median two pairs of setae on VII elongate, closer to each other than to lateral pair. Ovipositor length 275 microns.

Male macroptera. Similar to female but: small male fore tibia with one apical seta arising from small tubercle, large male with tubercle larger or forming a major recurved claw with the seta arising sub-apically. Tergites III–V with craspeda weakly lobed medially, VI–VII with craspeda strongly toothed laterally; tergite IX median pair of setae small, arising close together on weak median elevation, laterally with a few broadly based microtrichia. Sternites with no pore plates; sternite IX with transverse band of microtrichia.

Related and similar species

The genus Rhamphothrips currently includes 16 species (Mound & Tree, 2011), and each of them has the two median pairs of setae on sternite VII close together and distant from the lateral pair. Moreover, the head is particularly small, the mouth cone elongate, and the pronotum unusually long. R. cissus has one pair of pronotal posteroangular setae moderately prominent, the ovipositor is unusually long, and the craspeda on tergites VI–VII of males are strongly toothed. The genus is closely related to Exothrips, a genus that includes a further 20 species that live on grasses, and have the head larger and the mouth cone shorter.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

New South Wales, Queensland.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on terminal leaves.

Host plants

Cissus antarctica (Vitaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Rhamphothrips cissus Mound & Tree

Original name and synonyms

  • Rhamphothrips cissus Mound & Tree, 2011: 43


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