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Thrips of California 2012

Aeolothrips kuwanaii

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, extending forward almost to first longitudinal vein. 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, blunt and curved seta anterolateral to bifurcate clasper.

Related and similar species

A. kuwanaii is a member of a species-complex in which the fore wing bears a longitudinal dark area along the posterior margin, with or without a transverse dark band 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 three are identical in both sexes in their detailed structure, apart from the incomplete sub-basal transverse dark band on the fore wings of A. kuwanaii, and the absence of a pair of stout setae lateral to the clasper on tergite IX of male A. hartleyi. Moreover, the records given by Bailey (1957) indicate that the two species have been collected together on several occasions. The females of A. hesperus are also similar to those of A. kuwanaii, but the males have very reduced, non-bifurcate, claspers. 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 the one from Panama is probably not a member of this genus (Mound & Marullo, 1996).

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Aeolothrips kuwanaii Moulton

Original name and synonyms

  • Aeolothrips kuwanaii Moulton, 1907: 407
  • Aeolothrips robustus Moulton, 1907: 407
  • Aeolothrips longiceps Crawford DL, 1909: 101

Family placement


Biological data

Life history

Flower-living, but probably a facultative predator with a mixed diet of pollen and the larvae of other thrips.

Host plants

Collected from the flowers of a wide range of plants, with no recorded specificity.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

None recorded

Distribution data

Area of origin

Western USA


California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia.