Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body yellow, ocellar region brown, also anterior margin of mesonotum and median area of tergites II–VIII; antecostal ridges on tergites III–VIII dark across full width of segments, on sternites III–VII shaded full width of segments; fore wings weakly shaded; antennal segment I pale, II variably light brown, III–IV mainly yellow with apex brown, V–VIII dark. Head with vertex bearing closely spaced and transversely anastomosing striae, ocellar region with lines of sculpture scarcely visible; ocellar setae pair III close together, distance between their bases less than three times the diameter of the basal pores, arising almost on tangent joining anterior margins of posterior ocelli; two pairs of post-ocular setae. Pronotum with transverse striae regular and closely spaced; posteromarginal setae S2 about twice the length of S1, S3 subequal to S1. Metanotal reticulation transverse anteriorly but almost equiangular on posterior half, median setae posterior of margin. Fore wing clavus with 4 marginal setae; first vein setae 10–12+1–2+1–2+0–1+0–1; second vein with 2–4 setae; basal posteromarginal fringe cilia wavy but distal cilia straight. Tergites III–V median setae short, distance between bases about 3 times the length of these setae; tergal microtrichial fields with 3 discal setae; VIII–IX without discal microtrichia medially, posteromarginal comb on VIII complete. Sternites III–VI with microtrichial fields weak, scarcely extending mesad of setae S3.

Male macroptera. Similar in colour and sculpture to female, but smaller; tergite IX with pair of rather short, pale drepanae; 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, kirrhos is part of a species complex on Acacia foliage, together with S. akakiaS. moneres and S. quadriseta, in which the ocellar region lacks definite sculpture, and the first abdominal tergite lacks setae.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

Northern Territory, South Australia.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on young phyllodes.

Host plants

Various Acacia spp, including Apapyrocarpa (Mimosaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scirtothrips kirrhos Hoddle & Mound

Original name and synonyms

  • Scirtothrips kirrhos Hoddle & Mound, 2003: 23.


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