Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs uniformly brown; female with antennal segment III yellow with apical margin slightly shaded, segments II and IV brown; fore wings with posterior margin dark except for base and apex, and with one sub-basal transverse dark band. Antennae 9-segmented, segment III with short linear sensorium, IV with sensorium more than 0.5 as long as segment and curved at apex, V–IX forming a single unit with V longer than VI–IX. Head with no long setae; pronotal posteromarginal setae stouter than pronotal discal setae. Fore tarsus apically with stout recurved ventral hamus. Metanotal sculpture forming arcuate reticulation around anterior margin. Marginal setae on sternites arising at or close to margin; sternite VII with two pairs of accessory setae arising sub-marginally.
Male with paired tubercles on tergites IV–V; tergite IX with stout curved seta lateral to clasper.
A. crucifer is a member of a species-complex in which the fore wing bears a longitudinal dark area along the posterior margin, with or without a transverse area as well. Most of the species in this group are from North America, and the separation of A. crucifer and A. hartleyi from A. kuwanaii remains unsatisfactory. These two are identical in the detailed structure of both sexes, apart from the incomplete sub-basal transverse dark band on the fore wings of A. kuwanaii. About 105 species are placed currently in the genus Aeolothrips. Most of these are from the Palaearctic Region (including the Mediterranean, Iran and northern India, but with five species extending through eastern Africa to South Africa), with about 30 species from the Nearctic (mainly western USA). Only one species of this genus is known from the Neotropics, A. fasciatipennis described from Chile, but Mound & Marullo (1996) indicate this is probably the same as A. fasciatus.
Taken from various flowers, including Ceanothus [Rhamnaceae], and presumably a facultative predator, with a mixed diet of pollen and the larvae of other thrips.
California, Oregon, Washington, Utah.
Aeolothrips crucifer Hood
Aeolothrips kuwanaii var. crucifer Hood, 1935: 104
Bailey SF (1951) The genus Aeolothrips Haliday in North America. Hilgardia 21: 43–80.
Mound LA & Marullo R (1996) The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1–488.