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Thrips of California 2012

Nesothrips lativentris

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous or micropterous; body size variable up to about 4mm in length; colour dark brown, tarsi paler; antennal segment III and basal parts of IV & V yellow; fore wings pale to weakly shaded with dark median line. Head longer than wide, scarcely prolonged in front of eyes; 1 pair of setae close together between posterior ocelli; 1 pair of long setae just behind eyes; maxillary stylets wide apart and V-shaped in head. Antennae 8-segmented, segments III & IV sub-equal in length, III with 2 sensoria, IV with 4 sensoria. Fore tarsus without tooth. Fore wing broad, parallel sided, with about 15 duplicated cilia on posterior margin. Pelta with slender lateral wings; tergites II–VII each with 1 pair of sigmoid wing-retaining setae; tergite IX setae not as long as tube.

Male macropterous or micropterous; similar to female, but large males with fore femora swollen and L-shaped, fore tarsus with stout tooth.

Related and similar species

The genus Nesothripsincludes 28 species, mainly from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The genus is closely related to Carientothrips, a genus which also has many species in the same part of the world. A key to 14 species in this genus was provided by (Mound 1974b), but N. propinquus and N. lativentris are both variable in structure, within and between sexes (Mound, 1974a). Large males have unusually large L-shaped fore femora, although small males and females have normal fore femora; this structural variation suggests that there is some sort of male/male interaction and fighting over resources.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Nesothrips lativentris (Karny)

Original name and synonyms

  • Rhaebothrips lativentris Karny, 1913: 129
  • Cryptothrips claripennis Hood, 1919: 90
  • Cryptothrips difficilis Bagnall, 1921: 276
  • Cryptothrips seychellensis Bagnall, 1921: 274
  • Gynaikothrips fulmeki Karny, 1925: 49
  • Cryptothrips magnus Moulton, 1928: 315
  • Gynaikothrips yuasai Moulton, 1928: 315
  • Machatothrips ipomoeae Ishida, 1932: 12
  • Rhaebothrips fuscus Moulton, 1942: 15
  • Bolothrips australiensis Moulton, 1968: 118

Family placement

Phlaeothripidae, Idolothripinae

Biological data

Life history

Producing colonies on dead fronds of coconut palms, but also on dead branches. Dispersing winged adults sometimes fly into crops.

Host plants

Feeding on fungal spores.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Probably originally from the Pacific area.


Widespread in tropical countries, and a potential immigrant to California.