Print Fact SheetAurantothrips orchidaceus

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged. Body yellow laterally but brown medially, head more extensively brown; legs yellow; fore wing brown but pale at base on anterior margin; antennal segments brown but III and IV each with apex yellow and constricted. Antennae slender, 8-segmented, III and IV each with a long forked sense cone. Head with 3 pairs of ocellar setae, pair III small and arising close together between anterior margins of posterior ocelli; postocular setae pair II posterior to pair I; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum with no prominent setae. Metanotum irregularly reticulate, median setae well behind anterior margin, campaniform sensilla absent. Mesofurca with spinula, metafurca without. Fore wing slender, first vein with about 8 setae on distal half, second vein with continuous row of setae; postero-marginal cilia wavy. Tergites with no sculpture medially, VI–VIII laterally with microtrichia on sculpture lines, VIII posterior margin with long regular comb; IX with 2 pairs of campaniform sensilla. Sternites with no discal setae.
Male smaller than female; tergite IX with pair of thorn-like setae; sternites III–VII each with oval to transverse pore plate. 

Related species

The genus Aurantothrips includes 2 species (Bhatti, 1978), both from the Neotropics, although these possibly represent variants of a single species (Mound & Marullo, 1996). A few specimens from Costa Rica have been studied with the two terminal antennal segments fused, thus producing a 7-segmented condition. This has been interpreted as representing a separate genus and species, although these were subsequently placed as synonyms of Aurantothrips orchidaceus (Goldarazena et al., 2008).

Biological data

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

Distribution data

Confirmed records of this Central American species from Britain and the Republic of Ireland are all from glasshouses, and all are dated prior to 1927 (Morison, 1957). There is no evidence to suggest that the species is currently present in Britain; it has not even been found as an import interception in recent decades (Collins, 2010a). However, it has been recorded from north-western Europe, as well as Florida, Mexico, and the Neotropics on cultivated orchids.

Family name


Species name

Aurantothrips orchidaceus (Bagnall)

Original name and synonyms

Anaphothrips orchidaceus Bagnall, 1909: 33
Nicolemma garitai Retana-Salazar, 2007: 324


Bhatti JS (1978) Systematics of Anaphothrips Uzel 1895 sensu latu and some related genera (Insecta: Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Senckenbergiana-Biologica 59: 85-114.

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

Goldarazena A, Mound LA & zur Strassen R (2008) Nomenclatural problems among Thysanoptera (Insecta) of Costa Rica. Revista Biologia Tropical 56: 961–968.

Morison GD (1957) A review of British Glasshouse Thysanoptera. The Transactions of the Royal Entomological Society of London 109 (16): 467–534.

Mound LA & Marullo R (1996) The thrips of Central and South America: an introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1–488.