Print Fact SheetOdontothrips phaleratus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs dark brown, tarsi and fore tibiae yellowish brown, antennal segment III yellow, IV–VIII brown; fore wings brown with sub-basal white band and usually with sub-apical paler area. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III–IV constricted to apex, with forked sense cone; segment VI sense cone with enlarged oval base. 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; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum with little sculpture, about 10 discal setae and two pairs of long posteroangular setae. Fore tarsus distal segment without small tubercles; fore tibia apex with prominent re-curved claw ventrally and a seta-bearing tubercle at apex of inner margin. Mesonotum with paired anterior campaniform sensilla, median setae close to posterior margin. Metanotum weakly reticulate; median setae long, arising at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent (or present). Fore wing first vein with no setae on sub-apical pale area but 2 setae on apical dark area; setal row complete on second vein. Abdominal tergites with no ctenidia, median setal pair small and wide apart, no sculpture medially; tergite VIII with posteromarginal comb almost absent, a few broadly based microtrichia laterally; VIII with a few 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 short broad setae posterolaterally; sternites without pore plates but with a small median lobe on poster margin medially; extruded genitalia with no endothecal spines.

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). The fore tibial apex of phaleratus is similar to that of loti, but the fore wing colour and setal row on the first vein are different, and the male genitalia lack the stout endothecal spines.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding in flowers and pupating at ground level, and apparently specific to species of Lathyrus and Vicia [Fabaceae]. In Britain, most records are from L. pratensis.

Distribution data

Common across Britain from Kent to the Orkney Islands, with at least one record from Northern Ireland (Mound et al., 1976), but also recorded widely across Europe.

Family name


Species name

Odontothrips phaleratus (Haliday)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips phaleratus Haliday, 1836: 447
Thrips basalis Reuter, 1879: 212
Odontothrips phaleratus f. adustus Priesner, 1920: 56
Odontothrips anisomeris Bagnall, 1924: 271


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.