Print Fact SheetThrips verbasci

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs brown, tarsi and antennal segment III mainly pale; fore wings shaded in distal two-thirds. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III–IV each with forked sense cone. Head with cheeks convex, 2 pairs of ocellar setae; pair III arising on anterior margins of, and slightly longer than side of, ocellar triangle; postocular setae pairs I & III shorter than ocellar setae pair III, postocular setae pair II minute. Pronotum anterior margin longest setae more than 2.0 times as long as discal setae; with 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae; posterior margin with 3 (or 4) pairs. Mesonotum with anterior campaniform sensilla, median setae arise well in front of posterior margin. Metanotum with parallel lines of sculpture converging medially at posterior; median setae arising near anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with 5 or more 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 discal setae, III–VII with 15–20 discal setae in irregular double row.
Male similar to female but smaller; tergite VIII without posteromarginal comb; tergite IX median setae slender; sternites III–VII with broadly transverse pore plate in front of discal setae.

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). Thrips verbasci is a monophagous species that is closely similar in structure to the polyphagous flower-living species, Thrips atratus. However, it is easily distinguished by the presence of a pair of long setae on the anterior margin of the pronotum.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding in the flowers and on the leaves of species in the genus Verbascum [Scrophulariaceae]. 

Distribution data

In Britain recorded infrequently, and not in recent decades, and only in southeast England (Mound et al., 1976). Widespread across Europe, and reported from Iran.

Family name


Species name

Thrips verbasci (Priesner)

Original name and synonyms

Parafrankliniella verbasci Priesner, 1920: 73


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.