Print Fact SheetThrips palustris

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged. Body and femora dark brown, tarsi and apices of tibiae yellowish, antennal segments I–II dark brown, III light brown, IV–VII uniformly brown; major setae dark brown; fore wing brown with base sharply paler. Antennae 7-segmented; segments III–IV each with short forked sense cone, VII short. Head wider than long; with 2 pairs of ocellar setae; pair III shorter than distance between 2 ocelli, arising just outside anterior margins of ocellar triangle; postocular setae pairs I and III about equal to ocellar setae III, pair II minute. Pronotum with 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae; posterior margin with 3 pairs of setae. Mesonotum with anterior campaniform sensilla present or absent. Metanotum irregularly reticulate medially but longitudinally reticulate on posterior third; median setae arising behind anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half; second vein with about 13 setae. Abdominal tergite II with 4 lateral marginal setae; V–VIII with paired ctenidia, on VIII posteromesad to spiracles; tergite VIII posteromarginal comb complete with microtrichia slender; tergite IX with two pairs of campaniform sensilla, X with median split; pleurotergites without discal setae, with few or no microtrichia on sculpture lines, posterior margin with few microtrichia. Sternites without discal setae, S1 on VII arising in front of margin.
Male: [mentioned by Mound et al., 1976, as having been collected by Guy Morison in Aberdeen, but with no structural details]

Related species

The genus Thrips is the second largest genus in the Thysanoptera, and currently includes, worldwide, over 290 species. All members of 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). T. palustris is a large dark species, with dark fore wings and pronotal setae, and the metanotal reticles slightly elongate medially.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding in the flowers of its host plants, and apparently specific to Pedicularis palustris [Scrophulariaceae].

Distribution data

In Britain, known only from north east Scotland (Mound et al., 1976), but it has also been recorded from Norway, Germany, Czech Republic, Estonia, and Russia (zur Strassen, 2003).

Family name


Species name

Thrips palustris Reuter

Original name and synonyms

Thrips palustris Reuter, 1899: 58


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.

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