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Thrips of California 2012

Aeolothrips hesperus

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs uniformly brown; female with antennal segment III brownish yellow and brown in apical third, segments II and IV brown; fore wings with posterior margin dark band extending from apex to (but not including) clavus, with no transverse dark band. Head with no long setae; pronotal posteromarginal setae not stouter than pronotal discal setae. Fore tarsus apically with stout recurved ventral hamus. Antennae 9-segmented, sensorium on segment III very short, almost oval, on IV about 0.3 as long as segment, V–IX forming a single unit with V about equal to VI–IX. Metanotum with bold equiangular reticulation medially. Marginal setae on sternites arising at or close to margin except laterally; sternite VII supernumerary paired setae arising well in front of margin.

Male without paired tubercles on tergites IV–V; tergite IX with small, non-bifurcate clasper and without a stout curved seta laterally.

Related and similar species

A. hesperus is a member of a species-complex in which the fore wing bears a longitudinal dark area along the posterior margin. The females of A. hesperus are similar to those of A. kuwanaii but with a considerably smaller sensorium on antennal segment III, and the male has smaller claspers than any other known species. 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 hesperus Bailey

Original name and synonyms

  • Aeolothrips hesperus Bailey, 1951: 58

Family placement


Biological data

Life history

Presumably a facultative predator in flowers.

Host plants

Swept from various plants, with no information on specificity.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Western USA


California, Mexico, Texas.