Print Fact SheetAnaphothrips obscurus

Distinguishing features

Female either fully winged, or with wings no longer than thorax width. Body and legs mainly yellow with light brown markings, posterior margin of head brown; antennal segments V–VIII light brown; fore wing weakly shaded. Antennae 8 or 9-segmented, segment VI with an incomplete oblique suture; segments III–IV with small forked sense cone. Head without long setae; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum without long setae. Metanotum reticulate, median setae well behind anterior margin. Fore wing (when developed) with veinal setae shorter than half of wing width, first vein with 2 setae distally, second vein with 8–10 equally spaced setae. Abdominal tergites medially with faint transverse reticulate lines; tergite VIII with posteromarginal comb complete, but microtrichia short and variable.
Male, known only from Iran, with curved pore plate on sternites III–VII (Mirab-Balou & Chen, 2010). 

Related species

Almost 80 species from around the world are currently placed in Anaphothrips, but only two are established in Britain, with a further five species recorded from elsewhere in Europe (zur Strassen, 2003). There are 17 Anaphothrips species known from North America, all living on grasses (Nakahara, 1995), and 43 from Australia, mostly living on plants other than grasses (Mound & Masumoto, 2009). Although similar in structure, the body colour of A. obscurus is considerably paler than that of A. badius.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding on the leaves of many different Poaceae, including temperate cereal crops, and sometimes causing linear markings on such leaves. 

Distribution data

Recorded throughout Britain, and also from both Northern Ireland and County Dublin in the Republic of Ireland (Mound et al., 1976; O'Connor, 2008), this species apparently occurs worldwide in warm temperate areas. It probably originated in the eastern Mediterranean, because males have been found only in Iran (Mirab-Balou & Chen, 2010). 

Family name


Species name

Anaphothrips obscurus (Müller)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips obscura Müller, 1776: 96
Limothrips poaphagus Comstock, 1875: 120
Thrips striata Osborn, 1883: 155
Anaphothrips virgo Uzel, 1895: 148
Anaphothrips obscurus f. collaris Priesner, 1926: 185
Anaphothrips obscurus f. grisea Priesner, 1926: 185
Anaphothrips 6-guttus Girault, 1928: 1
Anaphothrips discrepans Bagnall, 1933: 651


Mirab-balou M & Chen XX (2010). First description of the male of the wheat thrips, Anaphothrips obscurus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Zootaxa, 2540: 65–68.

Mound LA & Masumoto M. (2009) Australian Thripinae of the Anaphothrips genus-group (Thysanoptera), with three new genera and thirty-three new species. Zootaxa 2042: 1–76.

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

Nakahara S (1995) Review of the Nearctic species of Anaphothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Insecta Mundi 9 (3-4): 221–241.

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

zur Strassen R (2003) Die terebranten Thysanopteren Europas und des Mittelmeer-Gebietes. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands 74: 1–271.