Print Fact SheetAptinothrips elegans

Distinguishing features

Both sexes without wings. Body and legs yellow, antennal segment VI shaded brown. Antennae 6-segmented; segment II with sharply expanded and flattened base over the narrow pedicel, VI pedicilate, less than twice as long as V and tapering to apex; segments III–IV each with a simple sense cone. Head and pronotum without long setae; head longer than wide, ocelli not developed; maxillary palps 3-segmented.  Meso- and metanota transverse. Tarsi each with only one segment. Abdominal tergites and sternites with no posteromarginal craspedum; tergal discal setae varying from 0–4; tergite IX posteromedian setae short, about 0.2 times as long as lateral pair of setae, close to posterior margin; sternites with many discal setae, lateral pair of posteromarginal setae arise in front of margin.
Male similar but smaller, with slightly longer antennal sense cones; sternites without pore plates; tergite IX with 2 pairs of stout thorn-like setae. 

Related species

Four species are recognized in this European genus (Palmer, 1975; zur Strassen, 2003). These are all completely wingless, but differ in the number of segments on the antennae and tarsi, and also in details of the chaetotaxy on the tergites and sternites. A. elegans differs from the others in the shape of antennal segment II which is usually broad and flat at its base.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding on the leaves of various species of Poaceae.

Distribution data

This species has been recorded only once in Britain, a single female taken in Devon in 1928 (Mound et al., 1976), but is widespread in Europe from Sweden south to Turkey and the western Mediterranean.

Family name


Species name

Aptinothrips elegans Priesner

Original name and synonyms

Aptinothrips elegans Priesner, 1924: 528
Aptinothrips mediterraneus Priesner, 1926: 159
Aptinothrips styligera Priesner, 1926: 160


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

Palmer JM (1975) The grass-living genus Aptinothrips Haliday (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Journal of Entomology (B) 44 (2): 175–188.

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