Print Fact SheetFrankliniella tenuicornis

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Female dark brown, tibiae, tarsi and antennal segment III largely yellow; fore wing pale with dark setae. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III–IV each with forked sense cone, VIII scarcely longer than VII. Head slightly longer than wide, projecting weakly in front of eyes; three pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III as long as anterolateral margin of ocellar triangle, arising just anterior to lateral margins; postocular setae pair I present, pair IV as long as diameter of one hind ocellus. Pronotum with 5 pairs of major setae; anteromarginal setae distinctly shorter than anteroangulars, one pair of minor setae present medially between posteromarginal submedian setae; upper surface of fore coxae without microtrichia on sculpture lines. Metanotum with 2 pairs of setae at anterior margin, campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing with 2 complete rows of veinal setae. Abdominal tergites IV–VIII with paired ctenidia, on VIII anterolateral to spiracle; tergite VIII with no posteromarginal comb of microtrichia but with a few triangular lobes laterally. Sternites III–VII without discal setae.

Male mainly yellow with brown markings; tergite VIII with no posteromarginal comb; sternites III–VII each with transverse pore plate.

Related species

This is one of the few species of Frankliniella that is associated with grasses, and unlike most other members of the genus the head projects forward slightly in front of the compound eyes. Currently 230 species are listed in the genus Frankliniella, with up to 130 further names placed into synonymy (Nakahara, 1997). Unlike many of these species, tenuicornis is probably native to Eurasia.

Biological data

Feeding in flowers and on leaves, but breeding only on species of Poaceae, including cereal crops. 

Distribution data

Widespread but locally common in Britain and recorded as far north as northern Scotland (Mound et al., 1976). This species is widespread across the Holarctic; in the Palaearctic from Scandinavia east to at least China (Mirab-balou et al., 2011) and south to Iran, and in the Nearctic south to California and Florida.

Family name


Species name

Frankliniella tenuicornis (Uzel)

Original name and synonyms

Physopus tenuicornis Uzel, 1895: 99
Physopus tenuicornis var. adusta Uzel, 1895: 99
Physopus nervosa Uzel, 1895: 102
Thrips (Euthrips) maidis Beach, 1896: 218


Mirab-balou M, Tong X, Feng J & Chen X (2011) Thrips (Thysanoptera) of China. Check List 7: 720–744.

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

Nakahara S (1997) Annotated list of the Frankliniella species of the world (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Contributions on Entomology, International 2 (4): 355–389.