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Thrips of California 2012

Scirtothrips tehachapi

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body yellow without dark markings, but tergal antecostal ridges weakly shaded to pale brown; antennal segment II darker than III, segments III–VIII grey; major setae pale; fore wings pale. Head wider than long; ocellar triangle apparently without sculpture, postocular region with transverse striae; 3 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III close together behind fore ocellus. Antennae 8-segmented; III–IV with forked sensorium. Pronotum with widely spaced sculpture lines; posterior margin with four pairs of setae, S2 prominent and about 45 microns long. Metanotum with irregular reticulation; median setae well back from anterior margin; no campaniform sensilla. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, second vein with 3 widely spaced setae; posteromarginal cilia wavy. Abdominal tergites III–VI median setae small, wider apart than their length; II–VIII with lateral thirds covered in closely spaced rows of fine microtrichia, these microtrichial fields with 3 discal setae, posterior margin with fine comb; tergite VIII comb complete but irregular, with no discal microtrichia medially; tergite IX with no discal microtrichia. Sternites without discal setae; microtrichial rows only present laterally, not extending mesad of setae S3; posterior margins without comb of microtrichia.

Male smaller than female; tergite IX without paired drepanae; hind femora without comb-like row of stout setae; sternites without pore plates.


Four female and two male paratypes have been studied that bear the same collecting data as the holotype, but two of these females do not have the tergal antecostal ridge any darker than the rest of their tergites. None of the available slide-mounted paratype specimens are sufficiently well-prepared for photomicrography.

Related and similar species

The identity and validity of certain of the Scirtothrips species from California, including S. solaris and S. tehachapi requires further study based on freshly mounted, fully cleared specimens. Bailey (1964) provided keys to 13 species in this genus from North America, but that work was based on specimens that were not fully cleared, and thus few structural details were available concerning differences between species. Similarly, Johansen & Mojica-Guzman (1999) provided keys to 33 species from Mexico, but doubts have been expressed concerning the biological reality of many of these (Mound & zur Strassen, 2001). Hoddle & Mound (2003) provided information on 21 Scirtothrips species from Australia, and Rugman-Jones et al. (2006) produced a molecular key to several pest species in this genus. The genus currently includes 100 listed species from various parts of the world.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Scirtothrips tehachapi Bailey

Original name and synonyms

  • Scirtothrips tehachapi Bailey, 1964: 345

Family placement

Thripidae, Thripinae

Biological data

Life history

Presumably breeding on leaves

Host plants

Most of the available specimens were collected from Ephedra sp. (Ephedraceae).

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage


Distribution data

Area of origin

Western USA