Print Fact SheetOxythrips ulmifoliorum

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body legs and antennae variable from light to dark brown, tarsi  yellow; fore wings weakly and evenly shaded. Antennae 8-segmented, III and IV each with short forked sense cone. Head wider than long; 3 pairs of ocellar setae, pair III just anterolateral to ocellar triangle, about 0.5 as long as distance between 2 ocelli; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotum with one pair of posteroangular setae; discal area with transverse sculpture lines. 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. 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 7–10 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  sub-equal in length to IX, with long median split. Pleurotergites with irregular reticulate lines, without microtrichia or discal setae. Sternites without discal setae; setae S1 on VII arise submarginally.
Male similar to female but smaller and yellow; tergite IX with 2 pairs of short stout setae; sternites 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 halidayi, quercicola and ulmifoliorum. These are currently distinguished on the basis that halidayi is dark brown, and that in the yellow bodied quercicola ocellar setae III are longer than in the light brown species ulmifoliorum (zur Strassen, 2003). Wing reduction is reported only for halidayi, but there is little biological evidence that three species are involved. 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 on the leaves of Fraxinus [Oleaceae] and Ulmus [Ulmaceae].

Distribution data

Locally common throughout England and Scotland, and also reported from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (Mound et al., 1976). This species is apparently widespread across Europe, from Norway southwards, and on to Iran (zur Strassen, 2003; Minaei, 2013).

Family name


Species name

Oxythrips ulmifoliorum (Haliday)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips ulmifoliorum Haliday, 1836: 447
Scirtothrips ulmi Bagnall, 1913: 232
Oxythrips virginalis Priesner, 1920: 72
Oxythrips caespiticola Priesner, 1928: 716
Oxythrips occitanus Bournier, 1962: 42


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.

Minaei K (2013) Thrips (Insecta, Thysanoptera) of Iran: a revised and updated checklist. ZooKeys 330: 53–74.

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.