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Thrips of California 2012

Aeolothrips albicinctus

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes usually with wings shorter than thorax width. Body color brown with abdominal segments II–III sharply yellow, mesothorax and abdominal segment X sometimes yellowish, antennal segments II and most of III yellow; legs brown. Head and pronotum with no long setae. Fore tarsus apically with stout recurved ventral hamus. Antennae 9-segmented, segments III–IV with linear sensorium short and straight, V–IX forming a single unit with V longer than VI–IX. Abdominal tergite I with many closely spaced transverse striae; sternal marginal setae arising sub-marginally, particularly the two lateral pairs.


Fully winged females are rare, and have the wings relatively short with transverse dark and light bands.

Related and similar species

Two further species known from California have the basal abdominal segments sharply yellow, A. auricestus and A. brunneipictus, and at least two other Aeolothrips species occur in western USA with the abdomen bicolored, A. aureus Moulton and A. bicolor Hinds. These five species apparently all live at ground level as predators of small arthropods. Just over 90 species are placed currently in the genus Aeolothrips, of which more than 50 are from the Palaearctic Region (mainly Europe), and 28 from the Nearctic (mainly western USA). Only two species are recorded from the Neotropics; the one from Chile is probably the same as A. fasciatus, and one from Panama is probably not a member of this genus (Mound & Marullo, 1996).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Aeolothrips albicinctus Haliday

Original name and synonyms

  • Aeolothrips albicinctus Haliday, 1836: 451
  • Aeolothrips flavithorax Priesner, 1926: 102

Family placement


Biological data

Life history

Predatory, probably on mites; behavior distinctively active and wasp-like.

Host plants

Living at the base of grasses

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Western Europe


Widespread across Europe into Asia, also North America (Ontario, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa, California).