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Thrips of California 2012

Apterothrips apteris

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes without wings. Color uniformly dark brown. Antennae 8 to 9-segmented, segment VI with incomplete oblique suture producing an apparently 9-segmented condition; segments III–IV with sensorium simple. Head weakly reticulate; ocelli not developed, ocellar setae III as long as diameter of three ommatidia. Pronotum with no long setae, medially with little sculpture. Meso and metanota transverse. Tergites with transverse reticulation medially, tergites I–VIII with well-developed craspedum on posterior margin. Sternites III–VI with well-developed 5-lobed craspedum, the sternal posteromarginal setal pair S3 arising at the posterolateral angle of each sternite.

Male smaller and paler than female, sternite II with an internal glandular structure opening through an aperture on the antecostal margin of segment III; tergite IX with 2 pairs of short stout thorn-like setae.

Related and similar species

Only two species are recognized in the genus Apterothrips, of which A. apteris is essentially southern whereas A. secticornis is essentially northern (Mound & Marullo, 1996). These two are distinguished by the number of lobes on the craspeda of the abdominal sternites, but are otherwise very similar. The males share with those of several Neotropical Thripidae species the character state of having a single glandular area on the anterior margin of the third abdominal sternite.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Apterothrips apteris (Daniel)

Original name and synonyms

  • Sericothrips apteris Daniel, 1904: 285
  • Sericothrips stanfordii Moulton, 1907: 43
  • Sericothrips ineptus Ahlberg, 1922: 271
  • Apterothrips delamarei Bournier, 1962: 231

Family placement

Thripidae, Thripinae

Biological data

Life history

Feeding and breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Erigeron (Asteraceae), Medicago (Fabaceae), Allium (Liliaceae), grasses (Poaceae).

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

Sometimes causing leaf deformation on Medicago and garlic (Allium).

Distribution data

Area of origin

Possibly California.


Southward from California through Mexico and the west coast of South America to the Falkland Islands, also Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand (Mound & Marullo, 1996).