Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body brown or sometimes bicoloured with abdomen brown and head and thorax orange yellow; antennal segment III yellow; fore wings brown with base paler. Antennae 7- or 8-segmented. Head with ocellar setae III outside ocellar triangle; postocular setae I & II subequal. Pronotum with transverse markings, one pair of midlateral setae stout, posterior sub-marginal apodeme weak. 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 at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present, rarely absent. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half; clavus with subterminal seta shorter than terminal seta. Abdominal tergite II with 4 lateral setae; tergite VIII comb complete but short and irregular; pleurotergites with no discal setae. Sternites III–VII with 12–25 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. hawaiiensis is closely related to T. florum, as discussed by Bhatti (1999), but it is distinguished by the shorter subterminal seta on the clavus, the presence of sculpture lines near the mesonotal campaniform sensilla, and the postocular setae pair II that are almost as long as setae pair I.

Distribution data

General distribution

Widespread across Asia and the Pacific, and southern states of USA, also Jamaica.

Australian distribution

Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales.

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 hawaiiensis (Morgan)

Original name and synonyms

  • Euthrips hawaiiensis Morgan, 1913: 3
  • Thrips sulphurea Schmutz, 1913: 1011
  • Thrips nigriflava Schmutz, 1913: 1012
  • Thrips albipes Bagnall, 1914: 25
  • Physothrips albipes Bagnall, 1916: 401
  • Physothrips pallipes Bagnall, 1916: 400
  • Bregmatothrips theifloris Karny, 1921: 66
  • Thrips versicolor Bagnall, 1926: 108
  • Thrips pallipes Bagnall, 1926: 110
  • Physothrips emersoni Girault, 1927: 2
  • Thrips io Girault, 1927: 351
  • Thrips partirufus Girault, 1927: 1
  • Physothrips lacteicolor Girault, 1928: 1
  • Physothrips marii Girault, 1928: 2
  • Taeniothrips eriobotryae Moulton, 1928: 297
  • Physothrips myobergi darci Girault, 1930: 1
  • Thrips imitator Priesner, 1934: 267
  • Taeniothrips florinatus Priesner, 1938: 489
  • Taeniothrips rhodomyrti Priesner, 1938: 492


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