Thysanoptera in Australia

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body brown, tarsi and antennal segment III and base of IV yellow; fore wing uniformly brown. Antennae 8-segmented, VII–VIII short. Head wider than long, ocellar setae pair III longer than side of ocellar triangle, arising outside lateral margins of triangle; postocular setae very small. Pronotum with 2 pairs of long postero-angular setae, posterior margin with 3 pairs of small setae. Metanotum with very closely spaced longitudinal lines medially and with finer lines between these major lines; median setae long, arising at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with 3–8 setae on distal half, second vein with about 14 setae; clavus with 5 marginal setae. Tergite II with 4 lateral marginal setae; posterior margin of tergite VIII with comb absent medially but represented by a few irregular microtrichia laterally. Sternite II with 1–2 discal setae, III–VII with discal setae varying from 10–14 in one transverse row; pleurotergites without discal setae.

Male macroptea. Body brown, smaller than female; tergite VIII without posteromarginal comb; sternites III–VII with broad 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 closely striate metanotal sculpture of T. vitticornis suggests that it might be related to T. rhabdotus from the Pacific Region (see Palmer, 1992). However, in T. vitticornis the number of setae on the distal half of the first vein is less and also variable.

Distribution data

General distribution

India to Pacific Islands.

Australian distribution

Northern Territory.

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding in flowers.

Host plants

Calopogonium sp. (Fabaceae).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Thrips vitticornis (Karny, 1922)

Original name and synonyms

  • Physothrips vitticornis Karny, 1922: 103
  • Taeniothrips canavaliae Moulton, 1928: 295


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