Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body yellow with pale grey markings laterally on pronotum and metascutellum, abdominal tergites with more extensive grey markings; pronotal setae dark; antennal segments III–VIII grey; fore wings pale with 2 small dark transverse bands, clavus dark except at apex. Antennae 8-segmented, III–IV with long forked sensorium. Head wider than long, without sculpture between ocelli; 3 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III very long, arising on anterior margins of ocellar triangle; postocular setae small, pair I close together behind hind ocelli. Pronotum with 6 pairs of very long setae; one pair of discal setae on posterior third. Metanotum with weak reticulatiom, campaniform sensilla absent; median setae arising at anterior margin. Meso- and metafurca with spinula. Fore wing first and second veins each with 5–7 long setae; clavus with only 3 veinal setae, sub-terminal longer than terminal. Tergites with no sculpture medially; VIII without posteromarginal comb; X with no median longitudinal split. Sternites without discal setae, setae S1 on sternite VII arising in front of margin.

Male macroptera. Similar to female but smaller; sternites III–VIII with broadly transverse pore plate, shorter medially than laterally.

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 Mediterranean species S. latipennis, although similar in general appearance differs from both S. rhagebianus and S. sexmaculatus in lacking a pair of discal setae posteromedially on the pronotum.

Distribution data

General distribution

Various countries around the Mediterranean; also Australia.

Australian distribution

New South Wales.

Biological data

Life history

Breeding on leaves, feeding on tetranychid mites.

Host plants

Predator of Eotetranychus cucurbitacearum (Tetranychidae), on leaves of watermelon (Citrulus), but also on Soybean (Glycine), and Prunus.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scolothrips latipennis Priesner

Original name and synonyms

  • Scolothrips latipennis Priesner, 1950: 54


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