Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body brown, tibiae largely yellow femora light brown; antennal segment III yellow; fore wings brown with base paler. Antennae 7 (rarely 8)-segmented. Head with ocellar setae III outside ocellar triangle; postocular seta II much smaller than I or III. Pronotum with transverse markings, midlateral setae all equally weak; posterior sub-marginal apodeme weak. Mesonotum with no 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 at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, clavus with subterminal seta longer than terminal seta. Abdominal tergite II with 4 lateral marginal setae; tergite VIII comb complete but short and irregular. Sternites III–VII with 6–14 discal setae.

Male macroptera.Body pale brown.

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. florum is closely related to T. hawaiiensis, as discussed by Bhatti (1999), but it can be distinguished by the longer subterminal seta on the clavus, the absence of sculpture lines near the mesonotal campaniform sensilla, and the very short postocular setae pair II.

Distribution data

General distribution

Widespread across Asia and Pacific, Florida and Carribbean islands.

Australian distribution

Queensland, Northern Territory.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding in flowers.

Host plants

Highly polyphagous, found in the flowers of many plants, and sometimes considered a pest.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Thrips florum Schmutz

Original name and synonyms

  • Thrips florum Schmutz, 1913: 1003
  • Thrips parvus Schmutz, 1913: 1004
  • Thrips magnipes Schmutz, 1913: 1006
  • Thrips rhodamniae Schmutz, 1913: 1008
  • Thrips pallida Schmutz, 1913: 1015
  • Thrips peradenyae Schmutz, 1913: 1015
  • Thrips darci Girault, 1930: 1
  • Thrips dunbariae Priesner, 1934: 261
  • Thrips exilicornis Hood, 1932: 129


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