Print Fact SheetHelionothrips errans

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous; body dark brown, tarsi and apical third of mid and hind tibiae yellow; antennal segments I and III–V yellow, II and VI brown. Fore wing brown, with white transverse band sub-basally and diffuse paler area sub-apically. Antennae 8-segmented, III and IV with long apical neck, sense cones long and forked; VIII about five times as long as VII. Head with short, convex cheeks; occipital ridge strong and close to margin of eyes; reticulation weak on posterior collar. Pronotum reticulate, with semicircular hind margin and no long setae. Metanotum with triangular area of strong sculpture; metathoracic furca long and U-shaped. Fore wing second vein with six or seven setae, first vein with about six setae at base and one or two distally. Abdominal tergites III–VII with arched sculptured ridges; VIII with complete comb of long microtrichia; X with median split complete. 

Related species

A total of 27 species are listed in Helionothrips, most of them from Southeast Asia, but with three from Africa and one from Australia. H. errans differs from most species in the genus in having the comb of microtrichia complete medially on the posterior margin of tergite VIII.

Biological data

Adults, larvae and pupae have been recorded from the leaves of Dendrobium and Laelia [Orchidaceae].

Distribution data

Presumably originally from Southeast Asia, this species was first described from specimens taken in a greenhouse in Surbiton, South London (Williams, 1916), but has apparently not been recorded from Britain since 1936. The evidence suggests historic, isolated, introductions without establishment, and the species is thought not to be currently present in Britain (Collins, 2010a). There are a few historic records from greenhouses in the USA and Europe, but this species is otherwise known from Taiwan, Japan, South Africa (Wilson, 1975) and from two sites in Australia.

Family name


Species name

Helionothrips errans (Williams)

Original name and synonyms

Heliothrips errans Williams, 1916: 243


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

Williams CB (1916) Biological and systematic notes on British Thysanoptera. The Entomologist 49: 221–227; 243–245; 275–284.

Wilson TH (1975) A monograph of the subfamily Panchaetothripinae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 23: 1–354.