Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body brown, head and thorax paler than abdomen, head commonly with cheeks darker than median area; legs mainly yellow; antennal segment III yellow, also basal half of IV–V; fore wings brown with base sharply pale. Antennae 7-segmented, III–IV constricted at apex, VII small. Head wider than long, ocellar setae pair III small and arising on anterior margins of triangle; postocular setae pairs I & III slightly longer than ocellar setae III, pair II minute. Pronotum posterior margin with 3 pairs of setae. Metanotum reticulate medially, reticles varying in shape and sometimes with faint internal markings; median setae long and arising behind anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing first and second veins with complete rows of setae; clavus with 5 marginal setae. Tergite II with 3 lateral marginal setae; posterior margin of tergite VIII with comb almost absent, a few microtrichia present laterally; pleurotergites without discal setae. Sternites II & VII without discal setae, III–VI with about 6 to 12 discal setae in an irregular row.

Male macroptera. Body mainly or entirely yellow; tergite VIII with no posteromarginal comb; sternites III–VII each with small transverse pore plate, discal setae arising laterally.

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. parvispinus is closely related to T. orientalis, but that has the forewing uniformly shaded not pale at the base, and the metanotal sculptured reticles with more pronounced internal markings.

Distribution data

General distribution

Widespread in South East Asia from Java to Taiwan, Timur and Australia; also Greece.

Australian distribution

Widespread across northern Australia.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding in flowers and on leaves.

Host plants

Polyphagous, but apparently attracted to scented white flowers such as Gardenia; apparently a minor pest in parts of Indonesia, but no reports of significant damage are available from Australia.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Thrips parvispinus (Karny)

Original name and synonyms

  • Isoneurothrips parvispinus Karny, 1922: 106
  • Isoneurothrips jenseni Karny, 1925: 7
  • Isoneurothrips pallipes Moulton, 1928: 296
  • Thrips (Isoneurothripstaiwanus Takahashi, 1936: 440


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

Mound LA & Collins DW. 2000. A south east Asian pest species newly recorded from Europe: Thrips parvispinus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), its confused identity and potential quarantine significance. Journal of European Entomology 97: 197-200.

Oz thrips taxa