Print Fact SheetOdontothrips cytisi

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs dark brown, mid and hind tarsi paler, fore tarsi and parts of fore tibiae yellow; antennal segment III yellow, IV–VIII uniformly brown; fore wings brown with sub-basal white band, also a long slightly paler sub-apical area. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III–IV constricted to apex, 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 longer than distance between compound eyes, arising on anterior margins of ocellar triangle; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum with little sculpture, about 10 discal setae and two pairs of long posteroangular setae. Fore tarsus distal segment with no small tubercles; fore tibia apex with two prominent re-curved claws ventrally and laterally. Mesonotum with paired anterior campaniform sensilla, median setae close to posterior margin. Metanotum reticulate; median setae long, arising at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with setal row almost complete but with small sub-apical gap; setal row complete on second vein, usually with less than 20 setae. Abdominal tergites with no ctenidia, median setal pair small and wide apart, II–VIII with faint sculpture lines across median area; tergite VIII with posteromarginal comb with slender microtrichia laterally but none on median third, with group of microtrichia anterolateral to spiracle; IX with 2 pairs of campaniform sensilla, X with median split. Sternites without discal setae, S1 on VII arising in front of margin.
Male smaller than female; tergite IX with pair of stout, dark, tooth-like processes posterolaterally; sternites without pore plates; extruded genitalia bearing 3 or 4 spines all sub-equal in size.

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 generally similar to loti in colour and structure, cytisi is particularly similar to the gorse specialist, ulicis, in having the fore tibiae each with two stout recurved claws, but the males differ in the presence of stout processes posterolaterally on tergite IX and the size of the basal pair of endothecal spines on the genitalia.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding in flowers and pupating at ground level. Probably specific to species of Cytisus [Fabaceae], this species can be common in Scotland in late spring and early summer on C. scoparius.

Distribution data

Described from Britain but known only from Scotland (Morison, 1928), primarily northern Scotland (Mound et al., 1976). Elsewhere it is recorded across Western Europe and also from Bulgaria (zur Strassen, 2003; Karadjova & Krumov, 2015).

Family name


Species name

Odontothrips cytisi Morison

Original name and synonyms

Odontothrips cytisi Morison, 1928: 38


Karadjova O & Krumov V. (2015) Thysanoptera of Bulgaria. ZooKeys 504: 93–131.

Morison GD (1928) Observations and records for some Thysanoptera from Great Britain. I. With a description of Odontothrips cytisi sp. n.. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 64: 37–45

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

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.