Both sexes of this species are fully winged and uniformly brown, including antennal segment I–II. However, the succeeding antennal segments are all unusually pale in color, with both III and IV yellow although IV usually has the pedicel almost black. The fore wing has a longitudinal dark band along the posterior margin that extends from the tip of the clavus to the wing apex, although the extent of the shading on the clavus is variable in the available specimens. Sternites IV–VI have the median two pairs of marginal setae arising at the margin, but the lateral two pairs arise well forward on the discal area.
The fore wing pattern and metanotal sculpture of A. nitidus is similar to that of A. kuwanaii, but the antennal segments are remarkably pale (Bailey, 1951: 63). 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.
Adults and larvae were taken in considerable numbers on flowering greasewood, Sarcobatus vermiculatus [Chenopodiaceae], in Inyo Forest. This species is probably predatory on small Thripidae.
California, Idaho, Utah.
Aeolothrips nitidus Moulton
Aeolothrips nitidus Moulton, 1946: 59
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.