Thrips of the British Isles

Thysanoptera of the British Isles

The authors of the Royal Entomological Society's Handbook to British Thysanoptera (Mound et al., 1976) pointed out in their Introduction that the term "British species" can have various interpretations. Collins (2010a) listed the 176 species of thrips known to have been taken alive at least once in the territory of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). Here, we consider the entire archipelago, the geological entity known as the British Isles, as the biologically relevant area, and so include records from the island of Ireland (O'Connor, 2008). However, 19 of the species considered here are not established on these islands, and the records of several more species are possibly based on vagrant individuals rather than local breeding populations. The thrips fauna is thus a dynamic system, not a static entity. It is partly a product of the variation in winds and weather from one year to another. Thrips individuals enter Britain on winds from continental Europe, and have done so throughout many centuries. More recently, horticultural trade and the travel industry have inadvertently brought further species to these shores, and more immigrants are to be expected. In addition, further species are sometimes taken at ports-of-entry and within other restricted plant quarantine reception areas in Britain, but these are not included here - see Collins (2010a) for the most recent summary of such interceptions. Finally, one species listed by O'Connor (2008), Thrips corymbiferarum, was inadequately described from material taken in Dublin by Haliday (1836) and is unsupported by extant voucher material. This is here treated as a nomen dubium and is not considered further. This decision means that there are no species recorded from Ireland that are not also recorded from Great Britain.


Collins DW (2010a) Thysanoptera of Great Britain: A revised and updated checklist. Zootaxa 2412: 21-41.

Haliday AH (1836) An epitome of the British genera, in the Order Thysanoptera, with indications of a few of the species. Entomological Magazine 3: 439-451.

Mound LA, Morison GD, Pitkin BR & Palmer JM (1976) Thysanoptera. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 1 (11): 1-79.

O'Connor JP (2008) A review of the Irish thrips (Thysanoptera). Irish Naturalists' Journal 29: 20-24.