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Thrips of California 2012

Compsothrips hookeri

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes wingless. Body and legs dark brown; posterior margin of metathorax and anterior margin of first abdominal tergite white, tube yellow with apex dark, mid and hind tibiae darker; antennal segments I–II yellow, III yellow at base shading to dark brown apex. Head longer than wide, elevated dorsally with cheeks strongly convex and sharply constricted to basal reticulate neck; compound eyes narrowed and prolonged on ventral surface; maxillary stylets retracted to postocular setae, wide apart and V-shaped in head. Pronotum with 3–4 pairs of rather short capitate major setae, midlaterals not developed; prosternal basantra and ferna well developed, mesoeusternal border narrow no wider than interantennal projection. Fore tarsus with tooth. Metanotum sharply elevated medially, with concentric reticulation. Abdominal tergite I (pelta) fully transverse, partially fused to tergite II laterally; tergite IX setae S1 capitate, about as long as tube.

Related and similar species

A total of 27 species are listed in the genus Compsothrips, mainly in tropical countries but with seven described from North America. Of these seven, C. hookeri is widespread across the southern States from Florida to California, two species are from Florida, and four species are from various Western States. These species differ in the color of the basal antennal segments, but given that they are all wingless ant-mimics there must be considerable scope for studies on their behavior, as well as their inter-population variation using molecular data. C. hookeri has the third antennal segment mainly brown in contrast to the yellow of the two basal segments; moreover, the tube is yellow in contrast to the dark brown body.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Compsothrips hookeri (Hood)

Original name and synonyms

  • Oedaleothrips hookeri Hood, 1916: 64
  • Oedaleothrips bradleyi Hood, 1937: 111
  • Oedaleothrips campestris Hood, 1941: 190

Family placement

Phlaeothripidae, Idolothripinae

Biological data

Life history

Ant mimic, living at ground level

Host plants

Imbibing spores of unidentified fungi.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Southern USA


California, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois.