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Thrips of California 2012

Anascirtothrips arorai

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous; body small and yellow, faint brown markings laterally on tergites, sternites III–VII with dark antecostal ridge; antennal segments I–II pale, II–VII increasingly dark; fore wing pale. Antennae 7-segmented, III & IV each with stout forked sensorium. Head transverse with 3 pairs of ocellar setae, pair III anterolateral to ocellar triangle. Pronotum with no long setae, 5 pairs of posteromarginal setae and 2 pairs of discal setae medially on posterior half. Mesonotum with 4 setae arising in transverse row. Metanotum with median pair of setae not at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, second vein with 3 or 4 widely spaced setae; posterior cilia wavy. Tergites II–VII with one pair of setae close together medially, lateral thirds of tergites with many rows of closely spaced microtrichia, VIII with long posteromarginal comb, II–VII with comb laterally. Sternites with posteromarginal comb of short microtrichia, VII with median setae arising at margin.

Male similar to female but smaller, without sternal pore plates.

Second instar larva yellow, legs and antennae weakly shaded; antennal segment II without microtrichia but with two large capitate setae at apex; dorsal surface of thorax and abdomen with granular sculpture, spiracles small, major setae short but broadly capitate.

Related and similar species

Four species are currently placed in Anascirtothrips, the others being A. discordiae from Taiwan, A. okinawanus from Okinawa, and A. arafura from the northern coast of Australia. Each of these species seems to be associated with the leaves of Ficus trees (Mound & Wang, 2000). These species are similar in many details of their structure to the species of Scirtothrips. However, they have antennae with only seven segments, and the pronotum has at least two discal setae on the posterior half.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Anascirtothrips arorai Bhatti

Original name and synonyms

  • Anascirtothrips arorai Bhatti, 1961: 26
  • Anascirtothrips ficus Bhatti, 1967: 11

Family placement

Thripidae, Thripinae

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding onyoung leaves.

Host plants

Associated particularly with Ficus benjiamina (Moraceae), but possibly also occurs on F. microcarpa and some other species of Ficus.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

Minor leaf damage on decorative Ficus specimens.

Distribution data

Area of origin

India, or the tropics of southern Asia.


India, northern Australia, Israel, USA (Florida); given the extensive horticultural trade in Ficus plants, this thrips must be considered a potential invader into California.