Print Fact SheetHoplandrothrips ellisi

Distinguishing features

The table below lists the character states used by zur Strassen (1982a) to distinguish ellisi from bidens, but among specimens from Britain no correlation has been found between his fourth character, the relative lengths of setae S1 and S2 on tergite IX of females, and the other characters, and this character may be disregarded. Furthermore, although zur Strassen’s concept of a longer tube in female bidens and a shorter tube in ellisi largely holds, the range of measurements from British specimens is from 160 to 248 microns with the divide occurring somewhere between 212 and 234 microns.  



Base of mid and hind tibiae never so clearly yellow as in bidens

Base of mid and hind tibiae clearly yellow

Female tube 2.1-2.4 times as long as wide

Female tube 2.5-2.8 times as long as wide

Female tube rarely longer than 130 microns

Female tube usually longer than 160 microns

Female tergite IX setae S1 usually as long as S2

Female tergite IX setae S1 usually slightly shorter than S2

Female tergite IX S1 setae 0.69-0.84 times as long as tube

Female tergite IX setae S1 only 0.50-0.61 times as long as tube

Male sub-basal wing setae S3 capitate

Male sub-basal wing seta S3 pointed

Related species

There are 117 species listed in Hoplandrothrips from around the world, with nine from Europe of which two are recorded in Britain. Hoplandrothrips bidens and ellisi have been repeatedly synonymised and revalidated as species (Morison, 1947-1949; Mound, 1968); their true relationship remains uncertain. They were most recently separated by zur Strassen (1982a), but the character states that he used do not satisfactorily identify many individuals. Furthermore, there is considerable variation in body size within and between populations, and the associated allometric patterns of growth. Nevertheless, despite this polymorphism, there is a pattern of two dominant sets of character states equating to zur Strassen’s species division.

Biological data

Breeding on dead branches, and presumably feeding on fungal hyphae.

Distribution data

Populations and individuals that equate to zur Strassen’s concept of H. ellisi have been recorded from Hampshire, Surrey, south and west London, Bedfordshire, Worcestershire, Isle of Man, and north-east Scotland, and this species is otherwise recorded widely in Europe.

Family name


Species name

Hoplandrothrips ellisi Bagnall

Original name and synonyms

Hoplandrothrips ellisi Bagnall, 1914: 35


Morison GD (1947–1949) Thysanoptera of the London area. London Naturalist, Supplement 26: 1–36; 27: 37–75; 28: 76–131.

Mound LA (1968) A review of R. S. Bagnall’s Thysanoptera collections. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology Supplement 11: 1–181.

zur Strassen R (1982a) Holz- und rindenbewohnende Fransenflügler (Thysanoptera) an zersägtem Pappelholz im Rheinland. Entomologische Zeitschrift 92: 113–123.