Both sexes fully winged. Body brown with fore tibiae largely yellow; all tarsi yellowish, also mid and hind tibiae at base and apex; antennal segments III–VI brown but yellow in basal half to one quarter; fore wings pale with weak shading medially; major setae pale. Antennae 8-segmented; III with 3 sense cones, IV with 4 sense cones; VIII constricted to basal neck. Head weakly sculptured medially with transverse reticulation laterally; slightly broader across cheeks than across eyes; cheeks without prominent tubercles but with one pair of stout setae on posterior fifth; eyes large; postocular setae bluntly capitate, arising just lateral to mid-point of eye; maxillary stylets retracted to eyes, close together medially. Pronotum weakly sculptured medially, weakly reticulate laterally; with five pairs of capitate major setae. Prosternal basantra absent; mesopresternum formed of 3 sclerites; metathoracic sternopleural sutures weak. Fore tarsus with tooth. Metanotum reticulate, particularly on posterior third. Fore wings parallel sided, with 15 or more duplicated cilia; sub-basal setae S3 bluntly pointed, S1 and S2 capitate. Pelta reticulate; tergites II–VII each with two pairs of slender sigmoid wing-retaining setae; tergite IX setae S1 and S2 capitate, S1 much less than half of tube length.
Male scarcely smaller than female; tergite IX setae S2 shorter than S1 but equally capitate; sternite VIII with transverse pore plate on posterior third.
Over 20 species are listed under the genus Phlaeothrips. However, many of these are old names for which specimens are not known to exist, and some species might be better placed in the genus Hoplandrothrips. Most of the species in Hoplandrothrips have the fore wings slightly constricted medially, whereas the wings of Phlaeothrips species are parallel-sided. P. annulipes differs from P. coriaceus in that the head lacks prominent cheek tubercles, the antennae are darker, and sternite VIII of the male has a pore plate.
Breeding on dead branches and presumably feeding on the hyphae of unidentified fungi. Usually associated with Betula [Betulaceae] and Salix [Salicaceae] trees, and sometimes forming large colonies of bright red larvae. At one time, common in Britain on the birch brooms that were used as forestry fire beaters. Kobro (2007) reported that dead branches of Betula and Alnus [Betulaceae] are the preferred habitat in Norway.
Locally common in Britain and recorded widely in England and Scotland, from Dorset to Inverness, and also from County Armagh in Northern Ireland (Mound et al., 1976), but also known from Scandinavia and central Europe.
PHLAEOTHRIPIDAE - PHLAEOTHRIPINAE
Phlaeothrips annulipes Reuter
Phloeothrips annulipes Reuter, 1880: 19
Phloeothrips brevicollis Bagnall, 1911: 62
Phloeothrips salicinus Priesner, 1923: 103
Phloeothrips immanis Bagnall, 1927: 582
Phloeothrips crepidipennis Maltbaek, 1929: 376
Kobro S (2007) Sampling Phlaeothrips annulipes O. M. Reuter (Thysanoptera: Tubulifera) from its habitat, dead birch branches. Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica 42 (2): 353–360.
Mound LA, Morison GD, Pitkin BR & Palmer JM (1976) Thysanoptera. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 1 (11): 1–79.