Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body yellow, rarely with brown marking medially on tergites, antecostal ridges brown on tergites III–VIII and sternites IV–VII; fore wings pale; antennal segments I–III pale, IV–VIII darker. Head about twice as wide as long, postocular and ocellar region closely striate; ocellar setae pair III arise near margins of triangle; compound eyes with no ommatidia strongly pigmented; three pairs of post-ocellar setae longer than ocellar setae pair III. Pronotum closely striate, setae S2 clearly longer than S1. Metanotal sculpture transverse anteriorly, longitudinally reticulate posteriorly; median pair of setae at anterior margin. Fore wing clavus with 4–5 marginal setae; second vein with 3–8 setae; posteromarginal fringe cilia all straight. Tergite I with no discal setae, III–V with bases of median setae close together; tergal microtrichial fields with 3 discal setae; VIII with discal microtrichia present anteromedially, posteromarginal comb complete; tergite IX with discal microtrichia present on posterior half. Sternites with microtrichia extending just mesad of S2; marginal setae arising in front of posterior margin.

Male macroptera. Similar to female in colour and sculpture, but smaller; tergite IX without drepanae; aedeagus without paired arrays of spines, but apex with series of small spines.

Related and similar species

The genus Scirtothrips comprises over 100 described species worldwide, with 21 species known from Australia most of which are endemics to this continent. These species all have the lateral thirds of the abdominal tergites covered in closely spaced rows of fine microtrichia, and in many species the sternites also bear similar microtrichia. The antennae are 8-segmented, except in S. casuarinae and S. solus, both forewing veins have an irregular and incomplete setal row, and a median spinula is present on both the meso and metafurca. The S. albomaculatusspecies group includes S. eremicusS. pilbara and probably S. astibos, all of which are associated with Acacia species, although S. albomaculatus itself is probably associated with Dodonaea. These thrips have three (not two) pairs of setae in the postocular row, five (not four) pairs of pronotal posteromarginal setae, and the males lack drepanae on the ninth tergite. Within this species-group, indeed within the genus, S. albomaculatus is probably unique in the position of the sternal marginal setae that arise well in front of the posterior margin.

Distribution data

General distribution

New Caledondia, Australia.

Australian distribution

New South Wales (including Lord Howe Is.), South Australia, Queensland.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Dodonaea viscosa (Sapindaceae); adults from many plants, including CitrusRosaAcacia.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scirtothrips albomaculatus Bianchi

Original name and synonyms

  • Scirtothrips albomaculatus Bianchi, 1945: 263.


Hoddle MS & Mound LA. 2003. The genus Scirtothrips in Australia (Insecta, Thysanoptera, Thripidae). Zootaxa 268: 1-40. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2003f/zt00268.pdf

Oz thrips taxa