Print Fact SheetOxythrips bicolor

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body weakly bicoloured, abdomen brown but head and thorax slightly paler, tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow; distal antennal segments brown, segments I–III paler; fore wings weakly and evenly shaded. Antennae 8-segmented, III and IV each with slender forked sense cone. Head wider than long; 3 pairs of ocellar setae, pair III just anterolateral to ocellar triangle, as long as one side of triangle; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum transverse, with one pair of posteroangular setae; discal area weakly striate/reticulate. Mesonotum with paired anterior campaniform sensilla, median setae on posterior half of sclerite. Metanotum reticulate medially; median setae posterior to anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present on anterior half of sclerite. Mesothoracic furca with spinula, metafurca with no spinula. Fore tarsal pulvillus without an apical claw. Fore wing first vein with 3 widely spaced setae distally, second vein with at least 12 setae. Abdominal tergites with neither craspedum nor ctenidia; tergites V–VIII discal area with faint transverse sculpture lines medially; VIII with no posteromarginal comb; IX with 2 pairs of campaniform sensilla; X at least twice as long as IX, with long median split. Pleurotergites with weak sculpture lines, but with numerous, irregular microtrichia, without discal setae. Sternites II–VII each with about 6 discal setae, III–IV each with small circular pore plate; setae S1 on VII arise submarginally.
Male similar to female but smaller; tergite IX with 2 pairs of short stout setae; sternites without discal setae, III–VI with small pore plate.

Related species

There are 39 species listed in the genus Oxythrips, mainly from the Holarctic region, together with a further 12 species known only as fossils. A key to 18 species from Europe is provided by zur Strassen (2003), but some of these species remain poorly defined, including three of the five recorded from Britain. O. ajugae is distinguished from bicolor by the presence of a small tooth on the apex of the fore tarsal pulvillus, although the two species appear to interbreed in the Aberdeen area judging from the production there of gynandromorph individuals (Mound 1970). These two species also appear to differ in the sculpture of the abdominal pleurotergites, and the presence or absence of discal setae on sternite VII. The genus is probably related to Anaphothrips, but is distinguished because all of its species have a single pair of pronotal posteroangular setae (Masumoto & Okajima, 2017a).

Biological data

Feeding and breeding in flowers and pupating at ground level, in the male cones of species of Pinus and Larix [Pinaceae], also Juniperus [Cupressaceae].

Distribution data

In Britain, known mainly from Scotland with old records from the northernmost counties of England (Morison, 1947-1949; Mound et al., 1976), but widespread across Europe from Spain north to Norway and south-east to Bulgaria.

Family name


Species name

Oxythrips bicolor (Reuter)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips (Belothrips) bicolor Reuter, 1879: 221
Oxythrips hastata Uzel, 1895: 134
Belothrips brevistylis Trybom, 1895: 185


Masumoto M & Okajima S  (2017a) Anaphothrips genus-group: key to world genera, with two new species and three new records from Japan (Thysanoptera, Thripidae). Zootaxa 4272 (2): 201–220.

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

Mound LA (1970) Sex intergrades in Thysanoptera. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 106: 186–189.

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

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