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Thrips of California 2012

Parthenothrips dracaenae

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and femora brown, tibiae and tarsi yellow; antennal segments I–V largely yellow; fore wing mainly pale, small dark cross band in basal half with a diffuse shaded area on distal half. Head strongly reticulate, cheeks constricted to basal neck; 3 pairs of translucent postocular setae. Antennae 7-segmented, VII slightly shorter than VI; III–IV with short, simple sensorium. Pronotum reticulate, with 1 pair of flattened postero-angular setae. Mesonotum reticulate on anterior half, lateral setae minute. Metanotum reticulate medially, median setae arise on posterior half. Tarsi 1-segmented. Fore wing broad with constriction in basal third, membrane reticulate; veinal setae translucent, broad with thickened median rhachis; costa without cilia, postero-marginal cilia wavy. Abdominal tergites without craspeda, with weak reticulation laterally, median setae small; VIII with no marginal comb of microtrichia; tergite X with complete median division. Sternites with 3 pairs of small marginal setae.

Male similar to female; sternites IV–VII with circular pore plate, larger on posterior sternites.

Related and similar species

There is only one species in the genus Parthenothrips, and no other thrips is known with such distinctive reticulate forewings.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Parthenothrips dracaenae (Heeger)

Original name and synonyms

  • Heliothrips dracaenae Heeger, 1854: 365
  • Parthenothrips concolor Uzel, 1895: 172

Family placement

Thripidae, Panchaetothripinae

Common names

Parlour palm thrips

Biological data

Life history

Larvae and adults feed on leaves, and pupae also occur on leaves.

Host plants

Feeding on a wide range of plants, most of which have hard leaves. Frequently associated with the leaves of the cultivated palm, Howea forsteriana (=Kentia palm or Parlour palm), but also commonly found on the fern Adiantum spp.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

The larval fecal deposits often soil the leaves of various plants, particularly small palms in domestic environments (Howea spp).

Distribution data

Area of origin

Possibly Australia.


Widely distributed around the world.