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Thrips of California 2012

Leptothrips larreae

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

This species has not been studied by the present authors, but see Cott (1956: 130-132) and Johansen (1987: 82-83).

Related and similar species

In the genus Leptothrips the metanotal sculpture is closely striate not reticulate, and larvae and adults usually have extensive purple internal pigment. In total, 38 species are listed in this genus, all from the Americas. Johansen (1987), in describing 22 of these as new species, recorded 11 Leptothrips from California, although only seven were listed by Hoddle et al. (2004). The validity of some of the species in the genus remains questionable, as discussed here under L. mali. The problem is that many of these species were differentiated on character states that are very difficult to observe on their type specimens because these are poor quality slide-mounts. Moreover, there is little recorded habitat segregation between several of the nominal species, given that they are all considered to be predators of other arthropods.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Leptothrips larrae Hood

Original name and synonyms

  • Leptothrips larrae Hood, 1939: 207

Family placement

Phlaeothripidae, Phlaeothripinae

Biological data

Life history

Presumably predatory on small arthropods

Host plants

No precise information available, although specimens have been collected at different localities on Larrea (Zygophyllaceae).

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Western USA


California, Arizona