Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs light brown, antennal segment III and base of IV and V yellow; fore wings weakly shaded. Head with 2 pairs of ocellar setae; pair III arising just outside anterior margins of ocellar triangle, and slightly shorter than distance between two ocelli; postocular setae pairs I & III sub-equal to ocellar setae pair III, postocular setae pair II smaller. Antennae 7-segmented; segments III–IV each with forked sense cone. Pronotum with 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae; posterior margin with 3 pairs. Mesonotum with anterior campaniform sensilla, median setae far ahead of posterior margin. Metanotum with closely spaced parallel lines of sculpture converging medially at posterior; median setae arising near anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half; second vein with complete row of about 14 setae. Abdominal tergite II with 3 lateral marginal setae, V–VIII with paired ctenidia, on VIII posteromesad to spiracles; tergite VIII posteromarginal comb complete, microtrichia long; pleurotergites with 3–4 discal setae; tergite IX with 2 pairs of campaniform sensilla, X with median split. Sternite II with few or no discal setae, III–VII with 15 to 20 discal setae in irregular double rows.
Male similar to female but smaller and yellow; tergite VIII with well-developed posteromarginal comb; sternites III–VIII with discal setae, III–VII with pore plate in front of discal setae.
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). Thrips pillichi is one of the species in this genus in which discal setae are present on both the sternites and the pleurotergites, but it differs from Thrips minutissimus, the other such species in Britain with seven antennal segments, in having only three setae on the distal half of the fore wing first vein.
Feeding and breeding in the flowers of its host plants, Achillea, Chrysanthemum, Senecio, and other Asteraceae.
In Britain, known only from England and Wales (Mound et al., 1976), but widespread across west, central and southern Europe, and onwards to Iran (zur Strassen, 2003).
THRIPIDAE - THRIPINAE
Thrips pillichi Priesner
Thrips pillichi Priesner, 1924: 2
Thrips fallaciosa Priesner, 1924: 2
Thrips hiemalis Priesner, 1927: 345
Thrips kerschneri Priesner, 1927: 439
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.