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Thrips of California 2012


  1. The most recent checklist of Californian Thysanoptera (Hoddle et al., 2004) included 238 species in 87 genera, with rather more than 40 of the listed species introduced from elsewhere; in contrast, the Thysanoptera fauna of the American continent north of Mexico has been estimated to comprise 700 described species (Arnett, 1985).
  2. Information pages are presented on 295 species, in 108 genera, and the identification system discriminates 242 species; of these, nearly 40 species are as yet unrecorded in California and have been included because they are considered to be potential invaders, whether interstate or from overseas.
  3. Our objective is primarily to stimulate further studies on these insects, whose biology ranges from crop pests and tospovirus vectors, through complex behaviors such as predation and sub-sociality, host specificity on particular vascular plants including use in weed control, feeding on fungal hyphae, and feeding by ingesting fungal spores; moreover California is home to some taxa that are remarkable evolutionary relicts.
  4. The Californian flora and fauna are highly diverse, and much remains to be discovered, but this system will aid the identification of Thysanoptera genera and species so far known from this State; summaries are provided of the little that is known of these species, their biology and structure, and the information is presented within a modern phylogenetic classification.