Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body brown with red internal pigment, legsyellow,also prothorax and abdominal segments III–V, IX–X variable yellow to brown; antennal segments I–II brown, III–V yellow, VI–VIII pale brown; fore wings with two dark transverse bands including clavus; major setae on body hyaline, forewing setae dark on dark bands, all major setae minutely barbed. Antennae 8-segmented; segment I without paired dorso-apical setae; III–IV with long forked sensorium. Head wider than long, cheeks short and incut behind large eyes; ocellar triangle elevated, ocellar setae III long, arising within triangle; ocellar setae pair I long, 2 pairs of postocular setae behind ocelli; compound eyes each with four pigmented facets ventrally. Prosternal basantra without setae, ferna slender and incomplete medially; meso and metafurca each with strong median spinula. Pronotum transverse, surface with few transverse lines; with no discal setae; 6 pairs of long major setae (anteromarginal, anteroangular, midlateral, posteromarginal, and two pairs posteroangular. Mesonotum transversely striate; no anterior campaniform sensilla; median setal pair arising near middle of sclerite, lateral pair long. Metanotum striate medially but irregularly reticulate at anterior; median setal pair wide apart near lateral pair and at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing relatively broad with apex pointed; dark areas finely tuberculate; costal setae long with apices roughened, costal cilia small, present only medially; first vein with about 8 long setae in irregular continuous row, second vein with 4 long setae; clavus with veinal and 1 discal setae; posteromarginal cilia strongly wavy. Tergites without craspedum; tergites I–II transversely striate medially; III–VIII with transverse lines laterally, not extending to campaniform sensilla; median setae small, wide apart; VIII with neither comb nor craspedum; tergite IX without anterior campaniform sensilla; tergite X with no longitudinal split. Sternites with three pairs of marginal setae, no discal setae; sternite VII setae S1 far ahead of posterior margin.

Male not known.

Related and similar species

Currently 14 species are recognised in the genus Scolothrips, with two further species described from the Canary Islands considered unrecognisable. There remain problems with the identification of two North American species, S. pallidus and S. hoodi, and these are possibly colour variants of S. sexmaculatus that remains known only from North America. Reports of S. sexmaculatus from Australia are now recognised as misidentifications of S. rhagebianus. The Asian species S. asura is strongly bicoloured, with deep red internal pigments when alive.

Distribution data

General distribution

India, Taiwan, Japan, Australia.

Australian distribution


Biological data

Life history

Breeding on leaves as predator of Tetranychid mites.

Host plants

Various plants including crops.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scolothrips asura Ramakrishna & Margabandhu

Original name and synonyms

  • Scolothrips asura Ramakrishna & Margabandhu, 1931: 1035


Mound LA & Tree DJ. 2007. Oriental and Pacific Thripidae (Thysanoptera) new to Australia, with a new species of Pseudodendrothrips Schmutz. Australian Entomologist 34: 7-14.

Mound LA, Tree DJ & Goldarazena A. 2010. A new species of predatory Scolothrips (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) feeding on Raoiella mites (Tenuipalpidae) in Australia. Zootaxa 2620: 63-68. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2010/f/zt02620p068.pdf

Mound LA. 2011. Species recognition in the genus Scolothrips (Thysanoptera, Thripidae), predators of leaf-feeding mites. Zootaxa 2797: 45-53. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2011/f/zt02797p053.pdf

Oz thrips taxa