Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs yellow, ovipositor, apex of abdominal tergite X and apex of mouth cone darker; antennal segments I-III and V yellow, IV light brown distally, VI–VIII brown; fore wings pale, weakly shaded in basal half. Antennae 8-segmented, III–IV with small forked sensorium. Head small, wider than long, without sculpture in ocellar region; 3 pairs of small ocellar setae present, pair III arising between anterior margins of hind ocelli; postocular setae very small; mouth cone extending to mesosternum. Pronotum as long as wide, narrowed to anterior; posterior margin with 6 pairs of setae, one pair slightly prominent. Metanotal sculpture lines forming series of elongate arches, campaniform sensilla present; median setae short, arising near anterior margin. Prosternal basantra weakly sclerotised, ferna curved forwards medially. Meso- and metafurca without spinula. Fore tibia with two stout apical setae but no tooth. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, second vein with 4 setae; clavus with terminal seta twice length of sub-apical seta, discal seta present. Tergites II–VIII with broad unlobed craspedum, median setae small and anterior to campaniform sensilla; X with median split almost complete. Sternites without discal setae; II–VI with broad craspedum forming 5 lobes between marginal setae, setae S3 arising at posterior angle of each sternite; sternite VII with setae S1 and S2 elongate, close together medially, much closer to each other than to setae S3.

Male macroptera. Similar to female, antennae paler, segment VI largely yellow. Small male Fore tibia of small male with one apical seta arising from small tubercle, large male with tubercle larger or forming a major recurved claw, the seta arising sub-apically. Tergites laterally without prominent marginal teeth, VII with a few small tooth-like lobes; tergite IX with median pair of setae arising separately, further apart in large male than in small male, with no microtrichia laterally. 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. pandens has the pronotal posteroangular setae short. 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

Hawaii, Jamica, Florida, Kiribati, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Australia.

Australian distribution

Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Apparently polyphagous, adults and larvae from Cassytha sp. (Laureaceae), adults from GlochidionSidaMalaisia.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Rhamphothrips pandens Sakimura

Original name and synonyms

  • Rhamphothrips pandens Sakimura, 1983: 299


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