Print Fact SheetThrips fulvipes

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body brown, legs and antennal segment III yellow, IV yellowish brown; fore wings weakly shaded, with dark setae. Antennae 7-segmented; III–IV slender each with forked sense cone. Head with 2 pairs of ocellar setae; pair III arising outside ocellar triangle, as long as distance between two ocelli; postocular setae pair I as long as ocellar setae III, postocular setae pair II small. Pronotum with 2 pairs of posteroangular setae; posterior margin with 3 pairs of setae, median pair much longer than lateral 2 pairs. Mesonotum with anterior campaniform sensilla, median setae distant from posterior margin. Metanotum irregularly striate-reticulate medially; median setae near anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half; second vein with about 10 setae. Abdominal tergite II with 4 lateral marginal setae, the anterior seta smaller than the other three; tergites V–VIII with paired ctenidia, on VIII posteromesad to spiracles; tergite VIII posteromarginal comb of evenly spaced microtrichia; tergite IX with two pairs of campaniform sensilla, setae S1 110–150 microns long; X with median split; pleurotergites each with 2–3 discal setae, small irregular microtrichia on posterior margin. Sternites without discal setae; VII with setae S1 in front of margin.
Male similar to female but smaller; sternites III–VII each with pore plate. 

Related species

The genus Thrips is the second largest genus in the Thysanoptera, and currently includes, worldwide, over 290 species. All members of the genus Thrips lack ocellar setae I on the head, and they all have ctenidia on tergite VIII posteromesad to the spiracles. Other characters, such as number of antennal segments, number of setae on the fore wing veins, and number of discal setae on the sternites are variable between species (Palmer, 1992; Nakahara, 1994; Mound & Masumoto, 2005). The combination in Thrips fulvipes of the presence of pleurotergal discal setae and absence of sternal discal setae is unusual. Only two other species from Britain share this combination of character states, and fulvipes differs from Thrips brevicornis in having the body and legs brown instead of yellow. However, the Japanese Flower Thrips, T. setosus, is particularly similar to although smaller than T. fulvipes, and was recorded in 2014 from the Netherlands (Vierbergen & Loomans, 2016) and also in 2016 from a commercial greenhouse in Britain.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding on the leaves of its host plants, and apparently specific to Mercurialis perennis [Euphorbiaceae].

Distribution data

Apparently widespread across northern Europe in the shaded places where its host plant is found, and locally common from southern England to as far north as Inverness (Mound et al., 1976), although it can be difficult to find. The species was described from material collected at Shotover Hill in Oxfordshire in 1916 (Bagnall, 1923).

Family name


Species name

Thrips fulvipes Bagnall

Original name and synonyms

Thrips fulvipes Bagnall, 1923: 59


Bagnall RS (1923) A contribution towards a knowledge of the British Thysanoptera, with descriptions of new species. Entomologist’s Monthly Magazine 59: 56–60.

Mound LA & Masumoto M (2005) The genus Thrips (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) in Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. Zootaxa 1020: 1–64.

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

Nakahara S (1994) The genus Thrips Linnaeus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) of the New World. United States Department of Agriculture. Technical Bulletin 1822: 1–183.

Palmer JM (1992) Thrips (Thysanoptera) from Pakistan to the Pacific: a review. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology Series 61 (1): 1–76.

Vierbergen G & Loomans AJM (2016) Thrips setosus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), the Japanese flower thrips, in cultivation of Hydrangea in the Netherlands. Entomologische berichten 76 (3): 103–108.