Print Fact SheetOdontothrips confusus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs dark brown, tarsi paler, antennal segment III yellow, IV–VIII brown; fore wings brown with sub-basal white band. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III–IV constricted to apex, each with forked sense cone; segment VI sense cone with enlarged oval base; dorsal apex of segment I with pair of setae. Head wider than long; three pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III as long as distance between compound eyes, arising on or just outside anterior margins of ocellar triangle. Pronotum with two pairs of long posteroangular setae; discal area with weak sculpture lines and about 10 setae. Fore tibia apex with two small teeth on ventral/inner margin but without a stout seta at inner apex. Mesonotum with paired anterior campaniform sensilla, median setae close to posterior margin. Metanotum weakly reticulate; median setae long, arising at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present or absent. Fore wing first vein with setal row almost complete but with a small sub-apical gap; setal row complete on second vein. Abdominal tergites with no ctenidia, segments II–III with sculpture lines medially, but none medially on remaining tergites; tergite VIII with posteromarginal comb broadly interrupted medially, with long slender microtrichia laterally;  VIII with group of microtrichia anterolateral to spiracle; IX with 2 pairs of campaniform sensilla, X with long split. Sternites without discal setae, S1 on VII arising in front of margin.
Male smaller than female; tergite IX with pair of stout setae posterolaterally; sternites without pore plates; extruded genitalia with two pairs of stout endothecal spines supported by elongate canaliculi.

Related species

The genus Odontothrips currently includes 33 species. All but two of these are from the Holarctic region, including Iran and China, but one species is described from Rajasthan, India, and another from Guinea. From Europe, 19 species of Odontothrips are recorded (zur Strassen, 2003), with eight from Britain. Almost all Odontothrips species breed only in the flowers of Fabaceae (Pitkin, 1972). Although similar to loti in many character states, antennal segment IV is brown in confusus, and the fore tibial apex lacks a prominent seta at the inner apex. Instead, this species is unusual in having two small teeth at the inner apex of the fore tibia. The male genitalia have a pair of long canaliculi as in loti, but each of these bears two stout, recurved spines.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding in flowers and pupating at ground level, and probably specific to species of Medicago [Fabaceae].

Distribution data

Recorded only once in Britain, two adult females were collected in 2003 south of Colchester, Essex, although in the absence of likely host plants in the immediate vicinity (Collins, 2006). Otherwise, the species is widespread across Europe from Sweden to Turkey, and on to Iran.

Family name


Species name

Odontothrips confusus Priesner

Original name and synonyms

Odontothrips confusus Priesner, 1926: 223


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.

Pitkin BR (1972) A revision of the flower-living genus Odontothrips Amyot & Serville. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Entomology) 26: 371–402.

zur Strassen R (2003) Die terebranten Thysanopteren Europas und des Mittelmeer-Gebietes. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands 74: 1–271.