Print Fact SheetHaplothrips subtilissimus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs brown to dark brown, fore tarsi and apex of fore tibiae yellow, mid and hind tarsi variable from yellowish-brown to light brown; antennal segment III largely yellow, IV–V yellow at base; fore wing pale with  base shaded; major setae dark. Antennae 8-segmented, segment III with one small sense cone, IV with 4 similar sense cones; VIII short. Head longer than wide; maxillary stylets less than 0.5 of head width apart, retracted to postocular setae, maxillary bridge complete; postocular setae with blunt to weakly capitate apices, scarcely 0.7 as long as dorsal length of compound eyes. Pronotum with 5 pairs of major setae with blunt to weakly capitate apices; epimeral sutures complete; prosternal basantra present, mesopresternum complete. Fore tarsus without a tooth. Fore wing constricted medially, with 8–12 duplicated cilia; sub-basal setae S1 and S2 capitate, S3 almost pointed. Tergite IX setae all acute, about 0.5 as long as tube.
Male with no pore plate on sternite VIII; fore tarsal tooth present; tergite IX setae S2 short and stout; male aedeagus slender as in leucanthemi.   

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 Haplothrips species 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 subtilissimus is one of only three British species of Haplothrips with only one sense cone on antennal segment III (the others being aculeatus and flavitibia). The relationship between subtilissimus and the closely related European species, kurdjumovi, is discussed by Minaei & Mound (2008) and Collins (2010a).

Biological data

Presumably predatory on mites, on branches of Quercus and Fagus [Fagaceae]. This was the most numerous thrips species to be collected (by fogging) from the canopy of Quercus trees in Richmond Park, during an investigation of the arboreal arthropod fauna (Palmer, 1986). The white and red banded second-instar larvae are distinctive and often beaten from oak branches.

Distribution data

Recorded from England and Wales, north to the border with Scotland (Mound et al., 1976), and found in Europe from Norway to the Mediterranean, and also across Asia to China.

Species name

Haplothrips subtilissimus (Haliday)

Original name and synonyms

Phloeothrips subtilissimus Haliday, 1852: 1100
Phloeothrips pallicornis Reuter, 1879: 216
Cryptothrips ovivorus Vasiliev, 1922: 13
Haplothrips atricornis Priesner, 1925: 152
Haplothrips inoptata Priesner, 1925: 152


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

Minaei K & Mound LA (2008) The Thysanoptera Haplothripini (Phlaeothripidae) of Iran. Journal of Natural History 42: 2617–2658.

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

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

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.

Palmer JM (1986) Thrips in English oak trees. Entomologist's Gazette 37: 245–252.