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Thrips of California 2012

Gynaikothrips uzeli

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body brown, tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow, also antennal segments III–VII largely yellow, VIII light brown; fore wings pale. Head longer than wide, slightly constricted behind eyes; postocular setae with apices bluntly pointed, scarcely extending to posterior margin of eye; maxillary stylets retracted almost to postocular setae, about one third of head width apart. Antennae 8-segmented; segment III with one sensorium, IV with three sensoria. Pronotum with major setae variable; anteromarginals minute, anteroangulars and midlaterals usually about half as long as the elongate posteroangulars and epimerals; epimeral sutures often not complete. Fore tarsus with small or minute tooth. Metanotum longitudinally reticulate. Fore wing parallel sided, with about 15 duplicated cilia. Pelta broadly triangular; tergites II–VII with two pairs of sigmoid wing-retaining setae; tergite IX setae S1 about 0.8 as long as tube.

Male smaller than female; no fore tarsal tooth; tergite IX setae S2 short and stout.

Related and similar species

Almost 40 species are listed in the genus Gynaikothrips, mainly from Southeast Asia. However, the genus remains poorly defined, and species recognition is difficult. G. uzeli is particularly similar to G. ficorum, but has the pronotal posteroangular setae long as well as the epimeral setae. G. uzeli has been reported from Texas and California (Boyd & Held, 2006). Populations from Ficus galls in the Asian tropics sometimes show considerable variation in the lengths of the pronotal setae, such that distinction between species remains uncertain.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Gynaikothrips uzeli (Zimmermann)

Original name and synonyms

  • Mesothrips uzeli Zimmermann, 1900: 12
  • Phloeothrips longitubus Bagnall, 1909: 534
  • Gynaikothrips garitacambroneroi Retana, 2006: 6

Family placement

Phlaeothripidae, Phlaeothripinae

Biological data

Life history

Breeding within rolled-leaf galls.

Host plants

Apparently specific to Ficus benjiamina (Moraceae).

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

Inducing leaf-roll and leaf-fold galls on decorative Ficus benjiamina.

Distribution data

Area of origin

Southeast Asia


Widespread across the Oriental region to northern Australia and New Caledonia; introduced to the southern parts of USA including California (Boyd & Held, 2006), also some latin American countries including the Galapagos Islands, Brazil and Argentina.