Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body mainly brown with red internal pigment; tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow; head, metanotum and abdominal segments brown, pronotum and mesonotum paler; abdominal segments III–VI with clear areas laterally, VIII–IX darkest; antennal segments IV–V much paler than remaining segments; major setae hyaline, but dark on pigmented, areas of fore wings; fore wings with two dark transverse bands. Antennae 8-segmented, with few or no microtrichia; segment I without paired dorso-apical setae; III–IV also V–VI broadly joined; III–IV with forked sensorium. Head wider than long, cheeks short and slightly incut behind large eyes; ocellar triangle strongly elevated, ocellar setae III long, finely barbed, arising within triangle; ocellar setae pairs I and II, also postocular setae, absent; vertex transversely reticulate. Compound eyes each with four pigmented facets ventrally; maxillary palps 2-segmented. Prosternal basantra without setae, ferna slender and widely separated, prospinasternum reduced to small median triangle; meso and metafurca each with strong median spinula. Pronotum transverse, surface transversely but irregularly reticulate, with no discal setae; 5 pairs of long, barbed major setae present (anteromarginal, anteroangular, posteromarginal, and two pairs posteroangular); 4 pairs of minor, weakly barbed, setae present (two pairs of anteromarginals, one (or two) pair of posteromarginals, one pair of midlaterals). Mesonotum transversely striate/reticulate; no anterior campaniform sensilla; median setal pair arising near middle of sclerite, lateral pair small. Metanotum longitudinally and narrowly reticulate; 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 barbed, costal cilia small, present only medially; first vein with 10–11 long barbed setae in irregular continuous row, second vein with 6–8 long barbed setae; clavus with 3 veinal and 1 discal barbed setae; posteromarginal cilia strongly undulated. Tergites without craspedum; tergite I transversely reticulate; II–VIII with sculpture markings laterally, not extending to campaniform sensilla; median setae small, wide apart; VIII with neither comb nor craspedum; tergite IX elongate, without anterior campaniform sensilla; tergite X short with no longitudinal split. Sternites reticulate laterally, with three pairs of marginal setae, no discal setae; sternite VII posterior margin eroded medially.

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. The Australian species S. ochoa is similar to the Asian species S. asura in being strongly bicoloured with deep red internal pigments when alive, but differs from all the other members of the genus in lacking ocellar setae pairs I and II.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia.

Biological data

Life history

Breeding and pupating on Eucalyptus leaves as a mite predator.

Host plants

Predatory on eggs and young nymphs of Raoiella mites (Acarina, Tenuipalpidae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scolothrips ochoa Mound, Tree & Goldarazena.

Original name and synonyms

  • Scolothrips ochoa Mound, Tree & Goldarazena, 2010: 64.


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