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Thrips of California 2012

Liothrips eremicus

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Type material of this species has not been studied by the present authors. It was described from about 20 adults of both sexes taken in Mono County and also in Nevada. It is included in the present system on the basis of two specimens from Quercus identified by W. Ewart.

Related and similar species

Judging from two specimens in the Ewart Collection identified as L. eremicus, this species has the antennae more extensively yellow than related species in California. The forewing color is similar to that of L. dumosus, considerably lighter than in L. ilex, but the pronotal major setae are black and broadly blunt at the apex, in contrast to the form of the setae in these other two species. Currently, there are 290 species listed in the genus Liothrips, although 30 of these are placed in two sub-genera known only from Asia. As a result, this is larger than either Thrips or Haplothrips, these three being the largest genera of Thysanoptera. However, in comparison to both Thrips and Haplothrips there are far greater problems in Liothrips in species recognition. A particularly high proportion of the described species are known from single samples, or even single individuals, resulting in little knowledge of variation within and between species, and thus the general assumption that most members of the genus are host-specific requires extensive testing. Stannard (1957) listed 32 species of Liothrips from North America, and subsequently (Stannard, 1968) included 14 of these in his keys to the Illinois fauna. Cott (1957) treated 11 species from California, two of which he placed in Rhynchothrips, but currently from this State there are 13 Liothrips species listed (Hoddle et al., 2004) of which several cannot at present be recognized.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Liothrips eremicus Cott

Original name and synonyms

  • Liothrips eremicus Cott, 1956: 60

Family placement

Phlaeothripidae, Phlaeothripinae

Biological data

Life history

Presumably feeding and breeding on leaf tissues

Host plants

Possibly specific to Pinus cembroides (Pinaceae) (Cott, 1956: 62).

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Western USA


California, Nevada.