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Thrips of California 2012

Aeolothrips crucifer

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs uniformly brown; female with antennal segment III yellow with apical margin slightly shaded, segments II and IV brown; fore wings with posterior margin dark except for base and apex, and with one sub-basal transverse dark band. Head with no long setae; pronotal posteromarginal setae stouter than pronotal discal setae. Fore tarsus apically with stout recurved ventral hamus. Antennae 9-segmented, segment III with short linear sensorium, IV with sensorium more than 0.5 as long as segment and curved at apex, V–IX forming a single unit with V longer than VI–IX. Metanotal sculpture forming arcuate reticulation around anterior margin. Marginal setae on sternites arising at or close to margin; sternite VII supernumerary paired setae arising sub-marginally.

Male with paired tubercles on tergites IV–V; tergite IX with stout curved seta lateral to clasper.

Related and similar species

A. crucifer is a member of a species-complex in which the forewing bears a longitudinal dark area along the posterior margin, with or without a transverse area as well. Most of the species in this group are from North America, and the separation of A. crucifer and A. hartleyi from A. kuwanaii remains unsatisfactory. These two are identical in the detailed structure of both sexes, apart from the incomplete sub-basal transverse dark band on the forewings of A. kuwanaii. 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 crucifer Hood

Original name and synonyms

Family placement


Biological data

Life history

Presumably a facultative predator in flowers, with a mixed diet of pollen and the larvae of other thrips.

Host plants

Taken from various flowers, including Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae).

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Western USA


California, Oregon, Washington, Utah.