Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body and legs yellow, distal antennal segments light brown; fore wings pale. Antennae 7-segmented. Head wider than long, ocellar setae pair III small and arising within triangle behind fore ocellus; postocular setae I about as long as ocellar setae III. Pronotum with numerous small discal setae, postero-angular setae short; posterior margin with 4 or 5 pairs of setae. Metanotum with irregular longitudinal reticulation medially but longitudinally striate laterally; median setae small, arising well behind anterior margin, campaniform sensilla present and close together. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, second vein with about 18 setae; clavus with 5 marginal setae. Tergite II with 3 lateral marginal setae; median tergites with lines of sculpture extending to campaniform sensilla; tergite VIII comb broadly interrupted medially, with few small microtrichia laterally; pleurotergites with 4– 8 discal setae, also rows of ciliate microtrichia. Sternite II with 8 marginal setae, III–VI with about 12 marginal setae, VII with 3 pairs; sternite II with about 6 discal setae, III–VI with up to 18 discal setae, VII with about 20 discal setae in a double row.

Male macroptera. Smaller than female; tergite VIII without comb of microtrichia; sternites III–V with narrow transverse pore plate.

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. The duplication of the sternal posteromarginal setae in T. subnudula has led some authors to place this species in a separate genus. However, similar duplication occurs in both T. aspinus and T. unispinus, although the latter lacks discal setae on the pleurotergites.

Distribution data

General distribution

India, Pakistan, Australia.

Australian distribution


Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding in flowers.

Host plants

Possibly polyphagous; in India breeding on Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Thrips subnudula (Karny)

Original name and synonyms

  • Ramaswamiahiella subnudula Karny, 1926: 208
  • Thrips pandu Ramakrishna, 1928: 264
  • Thrips setosus Moulton, 1929: 97
  • Thrips temporatus Bailey, 1951: 19


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