Female fully winged. Body and legs uniformly brown; antennal segment III yellow with extreme apex lightly shaded, IV yellow in basal half or more; fore wings with posterior margin dark band extending from near apex to (but not including) clavus, with no transverse dark band. Antennae 9-segmented, sensorium on segment III about 0.3 as long as segment, on IV almost 0.5 as long as segment, V–IX forming a single unit with V much longer than VI–IX and usually as long as IV. Head with no long setae; pronotal posteromarginal setae not stouter than pronotal discal setae. Fore tarsus apically with stout recurved ventral hamus. Metanotum reticulate medially. Marginal setae on sternites arising at or close to margin; sternite VII with two pairs of accessory setae arising a little in front of margin.
Male not known.
Described from four females, A. occidentalis is a member of a species-complex in which the fore wing bears a longitudinal dark area along the posterior margin. It apparently differs from A. kuwanaii in having antennal segment IV paler. 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.
Swept from grasses, and presumably flower-living as a facultative predator with a mixed diet of pollen and the larvae of other thrips.
Aeolothrips occidentalis Bailey
Aeolothrips occidentalis Bailey, 1951: 63
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.