|scientific name Thysanoptera |
common name Thrips
Dead branches, leaves, flowers, leaf litter, moss or leaf-galls (Mound and Marullo, 1996).
Varies with species.
Thrips are small insects with a body length that varies between 0.5 and 15mm. Species have varying coloration but most are black, dark to light brown, yellow, almost white, and/or bicoloured (Mound and Marullo, 1996). The antennae have 4 to 9 segments, and some segments have sensoria. Adults commonly have compound eyes while the larvae have reduced eyes of 3 or 4 ommatidia. Dorsal ocelli are sometimes present in adults, though never in larvae or pupae (Stannard, 1968). The right mandible is not developed past the embryonic stage. The left mandible is well developed and is the only one used in punching a hole through a substrate (Mound and Marullo, 1996). Labial and maxillary palps are present and the mouthparts form a cone (Stannard, 1968). The pronotum is wider than long, and the arrangement of its major setae is characteristic of some taxa (Mound and Marullo, 1996). Wings may be present, reduced or absent. When present, there are 4 membranous wings with long, marginal fringe cilia, and wing veins may be present or absent. The legs have 1 or 2 tarsal segments and end in a bladder-like arolium. The abdomen is of 10 clearly distinct segments, with segment 11 reduced. Abdominal segment 1 is closely attached to the pterothorax. In some species, sigmoidal wing-holding setae are present on the dorsal side of the abdominal segments. Glandular areas may or may not be present on some abdominal sternites in males. The last abdominal segment is cone or tubular shaped. The anal setae are long, and cerci are absent (Stannard, 1968).
Thrips are believed to have evolved from the same ancestor as the Himoptera and Psocoptera, though they developed haplo-diploid reproduction, in addition to sexual polymorphisms, which set them apart from members of these other groups. Females of some thrips species are able to reproduce parthenogenetically (Mound and Marullo, 1996).
Approximately 1% of all described thrips species are known to be crop pests (Mound and Marullo 1996)
Though diet varies with species, thrips have been found to feed on the cell contents of flower tissues, pollen, leaf cells, ferns, mosses, fungal hyphae, fungal spores, mites, scale insects, eggs, and other larval thrips (Mound and Marullo, 1996).
Thrips occur worldwide (Mound and Marullo, 1996).
Comments are published according to our submission guidelines. The EH Strickland Entomological Museum does not necessarily endorse the views expressed.