Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body largely yellow, abdominal tergite X brown, also antennal segments IV–VII; abdominal tergites III–VIII with or without brown area medially; fore wings uniformly but weakly shaded. Antennae 7-segmented. Head with ocellar setae III arising well outside ocellar triangle, ocellar area with transverse striations; postocular setae I & III subequal, II scarcely half length of I. Pronotum with transverse markings and about 26 discal setae, one pair of midlateral setae slightly stouter. Mesonotum with lines of sculpture close to anterior campaniform sensilla. Metanotum transversely striate on anterior half, with longitudinal but more widely spaced striations on posterior half, median setae arise close to anterior margin, campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, clavus with terminal seta longer than subterminal seta. Abdominal tergite II with 4 lateral marginal setae; tergite VIII comb complete but sometimes irregular. Sternite II with 2–4 discal setae, III–VII with 12–25 discal setae; pleurotergites without discal setae.

Male macroptera. Body yellow; tergite VIII with no comb; sternites III–VII with transverse pore plate.

Related and similar species

There are 33 species of Thrips genus known from Australia, out of a total of 280 species worldwide (Mound & Masumoto, 2005). Many of these species have the antennae clearly 7-segmented, whereas others have 8 segments. Some species have two complete rows of setae on the fore wing veins, whereas others have the setal row on the first vein more or less widely interrupted. Moreover, some species have sternal discal setae, whereas other species have only marginal setae on the sternites. Despite this variation, all members of Thrips genus have paired ctenidia on the tergites, and on tergite VIII these are postero-mesad to the spiracles, and they also lack ocellar setae pair I in front of the first ocellus. In contrast, Frankliniella species have ctenidia on tergite VIII antero-lateral to the spiracles, and a pair of setae is always present in front of the first ocellus. T. coloratus is related to T, hawiiensis but the abdomen is never uniformly brown, and thr forewing is uniformly shaded not paler at the base.

Distribution data

General distribution

Widespread from Pakistan to Japan, Australia.

Australian distribution

South-east Queensland, eastern New South Wales.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding in flowers.

Host plants

Asteraceae (Chrysanthemum, Solidago), Leguminosae (Lespedeza, Pueraria, Trifolium), Malvaceae (Hibicus), Moraceae (Ficus carica), Rosaceae (Eriobotrya), Rutaceae (Citrus), Theaceae (Thea sinensis).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Thrips coloratus Schmutz

Original name and synonyms

  • Thrips coloratus Schmutz, 1913:1013
  • Thrips aligherini Girault, 1927b:1


Mound LA & Masumoto M. 2005. The genus Thrips (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) in Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. Zootaxa 1020: 1-64. http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2005f/zt01020p064.pdf

Oz thrips taxa