Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body brown, tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow, antennae brown with base of segment III yellow, fore wings shaded with base and apex paler. Antennae 7-segmented. Head about as broad as long, vertex with three transverse striae, ocellar region without sculpture; ocellar setae III arising on anterolateral margins of triangle; postocular setae I almost as long as ocellar setae III. Pronotum slightly wider than long, surface lacking sculpture, with about 10 discal setae; inner and outer postero-angular setae more than two thirds as long as pronotum; posterior margin with 3 pairs of setae and S1 twice length of S2 and S3. Fore tarsus ventrally with stout recurved apical hamus. Mesonotum with lines of sculpture close to campaniform sensilla. Metanotum with irregular partly elongate reticulation posteromedially, median pair of setae close to anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing first vein with 6– 9 setae on distal half; clavus with 5 marginal setae, terminal seta longest. Abdominal tergites with no sculpture posterior to antecostal ridge; tergite II with 3 (or 4) lateral marginal setae; tergite VIII with ctenidia ending anterolateral to setae S3, posteromarginal comb with widely spaced slender microtrichia laterally but medially with very short microtrichia; tergite IX with 2 pairs of campaniform sensilla, median pair of setae much shorter than lateral pairs; tergite X with median split almost complete. Sternites and pleurotergites without discal setae.

Male not known.

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. excaeletus is unusual because of the long pronotal setae, the presence on the fore tarsus of a stout ventral hamus, and the lack of sculpture on the tergites. This species is a member of the Australian endemic T. seticollis group, in which the ctenidia on tergite VIII end anterolateral to setae S3.

Distribution data

General distribution

Known only from Australia.

Australian distribution

New South Wales.

Biological data

Life history

Probably feeding and breeding in flowers.

Host plants

Leucopogon ericoides (Epacridaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Thrips excaelatus Mound & Masumoto

Original name and synonyms

  • Thrips excaelatus Mound & Masumoto, 2005: 23.


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