Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body yellow; frons shaded between bases of antennae; tergites without dark areas but antecostal ridges on III-VIII dark across full width of segments, on sternites III-VII shaded full width of segments; fore wings darkly shaded; antennal segments III-VIII dark with bases of segments III-IV pale, segment 1 pale, II variable. Vertex with closely spaced and transversely anastomosing striae, ocellar region with transversely reticulate sculpturing; bases of ocellar setae pair III usually separated approximately by less than the length of these setae, arising almost on tangent between anterior margins of posterior ocelli; two pairs of post-ocular setae. Pronotum with anastomosing transverse striae widely spaced; posteromarginal setae S2 50-55 microns long, about 3 times the length of S1, S3 subequal to S4 and shorter than S1. Metanotum transversely reticulate anteriorly, but with longitudinal or equiangular reticulation posteriorly; median setae not at anterior margin. Fore wing clavus with 3-5 marginal setae; first vein setae 3+1-3+1+1+1; second vein 2-3 setae; proximal posteromarginal fringe cilia straight. Bases of median tergal setae on III-V separated by no more than thire length, anterior to a line joining tergal discal setae; tergal microtrichial fields with 3 discal setae; VIII with no discal microtrichia anteromedially, posteromarginal comb complete, IX with weak microtrichia on posterior half. Sternites III-VI with microtrichia scarcely mesad of S2.

Male macroptera. Similar to female in colour and sculpture; tergite IX with pair of dark drepanae curving dorsally; 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 inS. 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. In S. dobroskyi, as in S. australiae, the pronotal posteromarginal setae S2 are particularly long, more than 50 microns, although the postocular setae S1 are scarcely longer than the length of a posterior ocellus.

Distribution data

General distribution

Philippines, Australia.

Australian distribution

Queensland, Northern Territory, New South Wales.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Polyphagous; adults recorded from Bougainvillea (Nyctaginaceae), Cassytha (Lauraceae), Citrus (Rutaceae), Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae), Capsicum (Solanaceae), Eupatorium riparium(Asteraceae), Cissus antarctica (Vitaceae), Ligustrum sp. (Oleaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scirtothrips dobroskyi Moulton

Original name and synonyms

  • Scirtothrips dobroskyi Moulton, 1936: 264.


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