Print Fact SheetAeolothrips albicinctus

Distinguishing features

Usually micropterous, with wings shorter than thorax width; fully winged females rare, with wings relatively short and slender. Body colour brown with abdominal segments II–III sharply yellow, mesothorax and abdominal segment X sometimes yellowish, antennal segments II and most of III yellow; legs brown; fore wing with two transverse dark bands, costa dark on pale area between the dark bands. Antennae 9-segmented, segments III–IV with linear sensorium short and straight, V–IX forming a single unit with V longer than VI–IX. Head and pronotum with no long setae; eyes strongly prolonged on ventral surface; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Fore tarsus apically with stout recurved ventral hamus. Abdominal tergite I with many closely spaced transverse striae; sternal marginal setae arising sub-marginally, particularly the two lateral pairs.
Male micropterous; generally brown, or with mesothorax and abdominal segments I, II and part of IV yellow, abdominal segments IX and X darkest; IX without paired claspers.

Related species

Rather more than 100 species are placed in the genus Aeolothrips, mostly from the Palaearctic Region but with about 30 from the Nearctic including the western USA. This species is distinctive in its colour, with the pale abdominal segments II–III combining with their active behaviour in life to make the females remarkable ant mimics. Aeolothrips cursor Priesner from southern Europe is superficially similar in being micropterous and bicoloured.

Biological data

Breeding at the base of grasses. Presumably predatory on mites, with the behaviour active and distinctively ant-like.

Distribution data

Locally abundant in southern England as far north as Yorkshire, and also parts of Wales (Mound et al., 1976). Widespread across Europe, from Spain to Norway and Sweden, and then eastwards into Asia and south to Iran (Minaei, 2013). Also found in eastern North America including Ontario and New York, and west to Iowa (Stannard, 1968), as well as California.

Family name


Species name

Aeolothrips albicinctus Haliday

Original name and synonyms

Aeolothrips albicinctus Haliday, 1836: 451
Aeolothrips flavithorax Priesner, 1926: 102


Minaei K (2013) Thrips (Insecta, Thysanoptera) of Iran: a revised and updated checklist. ZooKeys 330: 53–74.

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

Stannard LJ (1968) The thrips, or Thysanoptera, of Illinois. Bulletin of the Illinois Natural History Survey 29: 213–552.