Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body light to medium brown, tergite IX darker; occipital ridge of head and posterior margin of pronotum dark, also antecostal ridge on tergites II-VIII; fore wings shaded with apex paler; antennae light brown, II darkest, I usually pale. Antennal segments VII–VIII with suture often weakly developed. Head with vertex closely striate, anastomosing striae becoming irregular near posterior ocelli; ocellar region with no distinct lines of sculpture; ocellar setae pair III closer together than diameter of first ocellus, arising posterior to tangent joining anterior margins of posterior ocelli, but one of these setae commonly absent; two pairs of long post-ocular setae; mouth cone exceptionally long and acute, extending to mesosternum in slide-mounted specimens. Pronotum with transverse striae regular and very closely spaced; posteromarginal setae S2 less than twice the length of S1or S3. Metanotal reticulation almost equiangular anteriorly but narrowly longitudinal on posterior half, median setae posterior of margin. Fore wing clavus with 4 marginal setae; first vein setae 3–4+3–5+0–1+1+1+1; second vein 3–4 setae; at least some posterior fringe cilia weakly undulating rather than straight. Tergite I with pair of setae medially usually extending to posterior margin; tergites III–VII median setae short, distance between bases on V about 3 times the length of these setae; lateral microtrichial fields with rows of microtrichia closely spaced, bearing 3 discal setae; VIII–IX without discal microtrichia medially, posteromarginal comb on VIII regular and complete. Sternite microtrichial fields weak, scarcely extending to seta S2.

Male macroptera. Similar in colour and sculpture to female, but smaller and paler; tergite IX with pair of exceptionally long (150 microns), curved and dark drepanae extending beyond apex of tergite X; aedeagus without stout 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. drepanofortisshares many character states with S. kirrhos and related species that are known from Acacia foliage. However, the mouth cone is exceptionally long and directed ventrally in life, the median setae on the first abdominal tergite are well developed, and the great length of the male drepanae is unique among Scirtothrips species.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

South Australia (Kangaroo Island).

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on young leaves.

Host plants

Hakea muellerianaHaenigma (Proteaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scirtothrips drepanofortis Hoddle & Mound

Original name and synonyms

  • Scirtothrips drepanofortis Hoddle & Mound, 2003: 18.


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