Print Fact SheetHaplothrips aculeatus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs brown to dark brown, all tarsi and fore tibiae yellowish-brown; antennae brown, segment III yellow at base; fore wing pale with base shaded; major setae pale. Antennae 8-segmented, segment III with one small sense cone, IV with 4 sense cones; VIII short. Head longer than wide; maxillary stylets about one-third of head width apart, retracted to postocular setae, maxillary bridge complete; postocular setae with acute apices, scarcely 0.7 as long as dorsal length of compound eye. Pronotum with 4 pairs of major setae with acute apices, anteromarginal setae no larger than discal setae; epimeral sutures complete; prosternal basantra present, mesopresternum complete. Fore tarsus with a minute tooth. Fore wing constricted medially, with 4–9 duplicated cilia; sub-basal setae pointed. Tergite IX setae all acute about 0.5 as long as tube; tube short, about twice as long as basal width.
Male similar to female, with no pore plate on sternite VIII; fore tarsal tooth sometimes well-developed; tergite IX setae S2 short and stout; aedeagus slender and narrowed to apex.

Related species

The genus Haplothrips is one of the three most species-rich genera of Thysanoptera, and currently includes about 245 species worldwide. Most of these species come from the Holarctic or the Old World tropics, with 80 listed from Europe and 14 from Britain. No species of Haplothrips is known to be endemic to the Neotropics, although a few are native to southern South America (Mound & Zapater, 2003). Haplothrips species are largely phytophagous, particularly associated with the flowers of Asteraceae and Poaceae, but some are predatory (Mound & Minaei, 2007). Haplothrips aculeatus is unusual amongst the species of this genus that are recorded from Britain for its relatively short tube and finely acute major setae, with the pronotal anteromarginal setae being no larger than the discal setae. It is distinguished from other British Haplothrips species associated with wetland and other grasses by having only one, not two, sense cones on antennal segment III.

Biological data

Breeding on the leaves and inflorescences of various species of Poaceae, Cyperaceae and Juncaceae.

Distribution data

Uncommon in Britain, recorded only from Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk (Collins, 2006), but widespread across Europe, from Iceland south east to Turkey, and beyond to Iran, and east to China and Japan (Okajima, 2006; Mirab-balou et al., 2011).

Family name


Species name

Haplothrips aculeatus (Fabricius)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips aculeatus Fabricius, 1803: 312
Phloeothrips albipennis Burmeister, 1836: 410
Thrips frumentarius Beling, 1872: 651
Phloeothrips oryzae Matsumura, 1899: 1
Phloeothrips japonicus Matsumura, 1899: 3
Anthothrips minor Karny, 1907: 50
Haplothrips cephalotes Bagnall, 1913: 265
Haplothrips funebris Priesner, 1928: 599
Haplothrips crassicornis Priesner, 1928: 599


Collins DW (2006) Odontothrips confusus Priesner (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) new to Britain and recent records of other British thrips. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 19: 145–156.

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

Mound LA & Minaei K (2007) Australian insects of the Haplothrips lineage (Thysanoptera – Phlaeothripinae). Journal of Natural History 41: 2919–2978.

Mound LA & Zapater MC (2003) South American Haplothrips species (Thysanoptera, Phlaeothripidae), with a new species of biological control interest to Australia against weedy Heliotropium amplexicaule (Boraginaceae). Neotropical Entomology 32: 437–442.

Okajima S (2006) The Suborder Tubulifera (Thysanoptera). The Insects of Japan 2: 1–720.