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Thrips of California 2012

Monilothrips kempi

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body dark brown, legs brown with base and apex of tibiae yellow, also tarsi; antennal segments I–II brownish yellow, III yellow, IV–V yellow at base; fore wing light brown, pale sub-basally. Antennae 8-segmented, III – IV with sensoria forked, VIII twice as long as VII. Head with conspicuous band of 3 rows of reticles at posterior, ocellar setae III arise inside triangle, three pairs of prominent postocular setae. Pronotum with stout transverse carina parallel to posterior margin, 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae, outer longer than inner, one pair of long anteroangular setae. Mesonotum reticulate, lateral setae short. Metanotum reticulate medially, median setae near posterior margin. Tarsi all 2-segmented. Fore wing with two complete rows of long setae, postero-marginal cilia wavy. Abdominal tergites II–VIII reticulate, median setae small, posterior margins with broad craspedum; tergite X with complete longitudinal split. Sternites with three pairs of long marginal setae.

Male without sternal pore plates.

Related and similar species

Only one species is placed in the genus Monilothrips. Within the Panchaetothripinae, this resembles Hercinothrips in having the tarsi 2-segmented and in having two complete rows of setae on the forewing.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Monilothrips kempi Moulton

Original name and synonyms

  • Monilothrips kempi Moulton, 1929: 94
  • Monilothrips montanus Jacot-Guillarmod, 1942: 64

Family placement

Thipidae, Panchaetothripinae

Biological data

Life history

Larvae and adults feed on fern fronds.

Host plants

Recorded from various ferns, including Blechnum australe, Adiantum aethiopicum, Woodwardia sp., Polystichum sp., Pellaea andromedifolia.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Possibly Africa or India


North and South India, South Africa, California (Wilson, 1975)