Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs uniformly brown; antennal segment III yellow, segment IV variable in colour, usually yellow in basal half with apex brown; fore wing posterior half dark from near apex to near (but not including) clavus, with two transverse dark bands that vary in length. Antennae 9-segmented, segment III slender with sensorium about 0.3 as long as segment, IV with sensorium about 0.4 as long as segment and slightly curved at apex, V–IX forming a single unit with V longer than VI–IX. Head with no long setae; eyes prolonged on ventral surface; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Pronotal posteromarginal setae not stouter than pronotal discal setae. Fore tarsus apically with stout recurved ventral hamus. Metanotum weakly reticulate. Marginal setae on sternites arising at margin; sternite VII with two pairs of accessory setae arising in front of margin.
Male with paired tubercles on tergites IV–V; tergite IX with claspers not bifurcate; antennal segment II largely yellow, III with apical half shaded.
A. melaleucus is an holarctic member of the species-group in which the posterior half of the fore wing is dark, but unlike the North American species there are two transverse dark bands. 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 commonly in Europe on the leaves of Quercus [Fagaceae] and Fraxinus [Oleaceae)] but also in flowers, and apparently predatory on mites on the leaves of forest trees.
Widespread across the northern hemisphere, including Europe, Canada, and northern USA into Montana, Washington, and Oregon, but not common in California.
Aeolothrips melaleucus (Haliday)
Coleothrips melaleuca Haliday, 1852: 1117
Aeolothrips fasciatus var. coniunctus Priesner, 1914: 259
Aeolothrips annectans Hood, 1916: 109
Aeolothrips coniunctus f. adustus Priesner, 1920: 51
Aeolothrips concinus Ishida, 1931: 32
Aeolothrips uzeli Bagnall, 1934: 482
Alavi J & Minaei K. (2018) Studies on the genus Aeolothrips (Thysanoptera: Aeolothripidae) in Iran, with a key to species. Zootaxa 4446 (3): 343–360.
Mound LA & Marullo R (1996) The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1–488.
zur Strassen R (2003) Die terebranten Thysanopteren Europas und des Mittelmeer-Gebietes. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands 74: 1–271.