Print Fact SheetChirothrips molestus

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged. Body, antennae and legs brown, tarsi paler, fore wings light brown. Antennae 8-segmented; segment II asymmetric with prolonged external margin but apex without a seta-like sensorium; segments III–IV each with bluntly pointed simple sense cone. Head small, prolonged in front of eyes; 3 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III anterolateral to fore ocellus (pairs I and II sometimes duplicated); maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum trapezoidal, 2 pairs of prominent posteroangular setae. Metanotum reticulate, sculpture forming arches around posterior midpoint; median setae not at anterior margin, sub-equal in length to lateral pair; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wings pointed; first vein distal half with 2 setae, second vein with 4–6 setae. Abdominal tergites with transverse sculpture lines medially but no craspedum, margin variable, with slender pointed teeth or minute tubercles; ovipositor robust with prominent teeth. Posterior margin of sternites II–V with minute tubercles; setal pair S1 on VII arising well in front of margin.
Male with minute wing lobe; head without ocelli; sternites III–IV (or even III–VIII) with circular pore plate

Related species

Currently there are 42 species worldwide placed in the genus Chirothrips. In contrast, zur Strassen (1960) treated the genus in a broad sense, with a key to 50 species, whereas Bhatti (1990b) placed several of the species into six new genera, and the generic classification was further reviewed by Nakahara & Foottit (2012). From Europe, zur Strassen (2003) recognised 14 species of Chirothrips, of which five have been taken in Britain. C. molestus differs from manicatus in lacking a seta-like sensorium at the extreme apex of antennal segment II, and the tergal posteromarginal craspeda are more weakly developed.

Biological data

Each larva feeds and pupates within a single flower of its host plant, and these include Poaceae in several genera, particularly Agropyron (Minaei & Mound, 2010).

Distribution data

Recorded once in Britain, a single female swept from grass near Maidstone, Kent, in 1960 (Mound et al., 1976). Widespread, although not common, across the Palaearctic south east to Iran (zur Strassen, 2003).

Family name


Species name

Chirothrips molestus Priesner

Original name and synonyms

Chirothrips molestus Priesner, 1926: 142


Bhatti JS (1990b) On some genera related to Chirothrips (Insecta: Terebrantia: Thripidae). Zoology (Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology) 2 (4): 193–200.

Minaei K & Mound LA (2010) Grass-flower thrips of the genus Chirothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), with a key to species from Iran. Zootaxa 2411: 33–43.

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

Nakahara S & Foottit RG (2012) Review of Chirothrips and related genera (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) of the Americas, with descriptions of one new genus and four new species. Zootaxa 3251: 1–29.

zur Strassen R (1960) Key to and catalogue of the known species of Chirothrips Haliday, 1836 (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Journal of the Entomological Society of South Africa 23 (1): 144–176.

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