Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body yellow, tergites with pale brown markings medially, also ocellar region; antecostal ridges on tergites III-VIII dark across full width of segments, on sternites III-VII shaded full width of segments; sternites III-VII with weak shading; fore wings weakly shaded, paler toward apex; antennal segment 1 pale, II-VIII dark with bases of segments III-IV pale. Vertex closely striate, ocellar region with weak reticulation; ocellar setae pair III usually closer together than their length, arising just anterior to tangent between anterior margins of posterior ocelli; two pairs of post-ocular setae at least as long as ocellar setae pair III, S1 almost twice as long as length of a posterior ocellus. Pronotum with anastomosing transverse striae closely spaced; posteromarginal setae S2 about 50 microns long, two to three times as long as S1, S1 subequal to S3 and both longer than S4. Metanotum transversely reticulate anteriorly, longitudinally reticulate posteriorly; median setae close to anterior margin. Fore wing clavus with 4 marginal setae; first vein setae 1-7+1-3+1-2+0-1+0-1; second vein 1-5 setae; proximal posteromarginal fringe cilia wavy. Tergites III-V with median setae arising in-line with discal setae, relatively small and separated by at least 2.5 times their length; tergal microtrichial fields with 3 discal setae; VIII with few discal microtrichia medially, posteromarginal comb complete; IX with discal microtrichia on posterior half weakly developed. Sternites III-VI with 3 pairs of posteromarginal setae arising at margin; microtrichia extending just mesad of S2.

Male macroptera. Similar in colour and sculpture to female but smaller; tergite IX with pair of short dark drepanae; aedeagus apparently without 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. S. australiae is interpreted as a widespread, polyphagous and variable species, but possibly comprises two or more host specific species that have yet to be distingished.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

Queensland, New South Wales, Tasmania.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Collected from Kunzea ericoides, Eucalytpus sp., Melaleuca leucadendra (Myrtaceae); Exocarpos cupressiformis (Santalaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scirtothrips australiae Hood

Original name and synonyms

  • Scirtothrips australiae Hood, 1918: 75
  • Glaucothrips auricorpus Girault, 1927: 1


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