Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs brown to dark brown, tarsi and apices of fore tibiae yellow; antennal segment III mainly yellow, IV light brown with yellow base; fore wings brown with base scarcely paler. Antennae 7-segmented. Head with ocellar setae III arising on (or just outside) margins of triangle, ocellar region sometimes with faint reticulate markings; postocular region strongly sculptured, postocular setae II minute. Pronotum with strong transverse markings, 20–30 discal setae with one midlateral pair stout. Mesonotal campaniform sensilla present or absent. Metanotum reticulate, reticles with internal markings, median setae behind anterior margin, campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing first vein with setal row variable, 7–10 irregularly spaced setae on distal half; clavus with subterminal seta longer than terminal seta. Abdominal tergite II with 3 (or 4) lateral marginal setae; tergite VIII with comb absent medially and short laterally. Sternites III–VI sometimes with no discal setae but usually with 1–6 setae laterally.

Male macroptera. Body brown, sternites III–VII with transverse glandular area but no discal setae.

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. Twelve species from South East Asia have been referred to as theThrips orientalis group. These have the metanotum reticulate, usually with markings internal to the reticles, the median pair of metanotal setae arising far from the anterior margin, the metanotal campaniform sensilla absent, and sternite VII without discal setae despite the more anterior sternites usually having such setae.

Distribution data

General distribution

Widespread in Asian tropics from India to Japan; Tanzania, Hawaii, Trinidad, Florida, New Caledonia, Australia.

Australian distribution


Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding in white, scented flowers.

Host plants

Gardenia (Rubiaceae), Jasminum(Oleaceae), Glossocarya hemiderma (Verbenaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Thrips orientalis (Bagnall)

Original name and synonyms

  • Isoneurothrips orientalis Bagnall, 1915: 593
  • Thrips setipennis Steinweden & Moulton, 1930: 25
  • Thrips hispidipennis Hood, 1932: 122


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