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Thrips of California 2012

Bagnalliella yuccae

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged, or with wings shorter than thorax width. Body and legs brown, tarsi and apices of fore tibiae yellow; antennal segments III–VII largely yellow, VII shaded at apex, VIII light brown; fore wings pale. Head longer than wide; cheeks confluent with eyes, with small grooves anterolaterally; postocular setae wide apart, bluntly pointed; dorsal surface with little sculpture; maxillary stylets retracted to eyes, about one fifth of head width apart. Antennae 8-segmented; segment III with 2 (or 3) sensoria, IV with 4 (2 or 3) sensoria; segment VIII narrowed to base. Pronotum with little sculpture; 3 pairs of prominent, almost capitate, major setae; anteromarginals minute, midlaterals variable but never as long as epimerals; paired prosternal basantra well developed, mesopresternum slender at mid-point. Fore tarsus with minute tooth. Metanotum faintly reticulate. Fore wings weakly constricted medially; 5 duplicated cilia present. Pelta almost without sculpture, D-shaped; tergites II–VII with two pairs of sigmoid wing-retaining setae; tergite IX setae S1 almost pointed, as long as tube.

Male similar to female, but fore tarsal tooth slightly larger; tergite IX setae S2 short and stout.

Related and similar species

Nine species are listed in the genus Bagnalliella. Seven of these are from Yucca plants in southwestern USA and are clearly closely related in structure, whereas the other two (from New Guinea and South Africa) should probably be placed in other genera. B. yuccae has been distributed widely around the world in association with its cultivated host-plant. Cott (1956) distinguished the three species of Bagnalliella recorded from California on the following basis: B. yuccae with two sensoria on antennal segment III and four on IV; B. mojave Hood with one sensorium on antennal segment III and two on IV; B. desertae Hood with one sensorium on antennal segment III and three (? four) on IV. In contrast, Tree (2010) noted that in a population of B. yuccae introduced to Australia the number of sensoria on antennal segment III varied from 2–3, and the number on segment IV varied from 2–4. Thus the species separations given by Cott require further study in natural populations.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Bagnalliella yuccae (Hinds)

Original name and synonyms

  • Cephalothrips yuccae Hinds, 1902: 194
  • Haplothrips ryani Moulton, 1929: 131
  • Haplothrips yuccae Savenko, 1944: 1005

Family placement

Phlaeothripidae, Phlaeothripinae

Biological data

Life history

Larvae and pupae found together with adults on leaf bases.

Host plants

Yucca spp.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

Mottling leaf bases of cultivated Yucca plants

Distribution data

Area of origin

Western USA


Widespread around the world on cultivated Yucca plants