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Thrips of California 2012

Taeniothrips orionis

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged. Body brown, fore tarsi paler, antennal segment III yellow at base but light brown at apex; fore wings light brown, base pale but extreme apex darker. Head longer than wide, constricted behind eyes with cheeks rounded; without sculpture between ocelli; two pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III longer than distance between compound eyes, arising between anterior margins of hind ocelli; pair II longer than side of ocellar triangle. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III–IV with sensorium forked. Pronotum with few discal setae, 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae; posterior margin with one pair of prominent setae medially arising in front of margin. Metanotum with reticulation equiangular on anterior half but longitudinal on posterior half; median setae at anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with two setae on distal half; second vein with complete row of about 14 setae. Abdominal tergites with transversely reticulate sculpture medially; tergites VI–VIII with median setae about half length of tergite; tergite VIII with posteromarginal comb of long regular microtrichia. Sternites without discal setae.

Related and similar species

Currently there are 45 species listed in the genus Taeniothrips, although 21 of these are fossils. Of the remaining species, four are European in origin, one is from western North America, and the rest are from Asia. The western North American species, T. orionis, is particularly similar to T. major Bagnall from the Himalaya region of northern India and Pakistan, both in the sculpture of the tergites and in having ocellar setae II longer than the side of the ocellar triangle.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

Taeniothrips orionis Treherne

Original name and synonyms

  • Taeniothrips orionis Treherne, 1924: 86
  • Taeniothrips tahoei Moulton, 1927: 190
  • Taeniothrips pingreei Moulton, 1927: 191

Family placement

Thripidae, Thripinae

Biological data

Life history

Probably breeding in a range of flowers. Bailey (1957) indicates that in California it occurs at high altitudes.

Host plants

Veratrum (Liliaceae), Polygonum (Polygonaceae), Solanum tuberosum (Solanaceae), Paeonia sp. (Paeoniaceae), but with no recorded specificity.

Tospoviruses vectored


Crop damage

Associated with damage to crops of potatoes, but also reported from cabbage and lettuce

Distribution data

Area of origin

Western North America


California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, British Colombia.