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Thrips of California 2012

Hercinothrips femoralis

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body brown, head with pair of yellow longitudinal areas; legs yellow, mid and hind femora brown; III–V largely yellow; fore wing brown but pale at apex and sub-basally, and with submedian area variably lighter. Head reticulate with transverse occipital ridge; ocellar setae III on anterior margins of triangle; three pairs of postocular setae present. Pronotum with no long setae. Mesonotum reticulate on anterior half, lateral setae small. Metanotum reticulate medially, median setae arise medially. Tarsi all 2-segmented. Fore wing with two complete rows of setae, posteromarginal cilia wavy. Abdominal tergites weakly reticulate medially, median pair of setae small; posterior margins without a craspedum, VIII with comb of microtrichia laterally; tergite X with longitudinal split almost complete.

Male with sternal marginal setae minute. Sternites III–VII with slender transverse pore plate.

Related and similar species

There are eight species recognized in the genus Hercinothrips. Each of these is originally from Africa, but two of them are now widespread. H. femoralis is very similar to H. bicintus (Bagnall), but has the fore wings more extensively dark. Hercinothrips species all have 2-segmented tarsi, and both longitudinal veins on the forewing bear a complete row of setae.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Hercinothrips femoralis (Reuter)

Original name and synonyms

  • Heliothrips femoralis Reuter, 1891: 166
  • Heliothrips cestri Pergande, 1895: 390
  • Heliothrips apicalis Bondar, 1931: 86

Family placement

Thripidae, Panchaetothripinae

Common names

Sugar beet thrips; Banded greenhouse thrips.

Biological data

Life history

Breeding on leaves.

Host plants

Many different and unrelated plant species, including several crops.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

Causing leaf damage to various plants, usually under glass, including bananas (Roditakis et al., 2006).

Distribution data

Area of origin



Widespread around the world in tropical and subtropical areas (Roditakis et al., 2006).