Print Fact SheetAnaphothrips obscurus

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged, but more commonly with wings no longer than thorax width. Body and legs mainly yellow with light brown markings, posterior margin of head brown, but overwintering adults can be considerably darker; antennal segments V–VIII light brown; fore wing weakly shaded. Antennae 8 to 9-segmented, segment VI with an incomplete oblique suture; segments III & IV each with small forked sense cone. Head and pronotum without long setae. Metanotum reticulate, median setae well behind anterior margin. Fore wing (when developed) with veinal setae shorter than half of wing width, first vein with 2 setae distally, second vein with 8–10 equally spaced setae. Abdominal tergites medially with faint transverse reticulate lines; tergite VIII with posteromarginal comb complete, but microtrichia short and variable.
Male, known only from Iran, with curved pore plate on sternites III–VII.

Related species

Rather more than 80 species from around the world are currently placed in the genus Anaphothrips, of which 17 are from North America, all living on grasses (Nakahara, 1995), and 43 from Australia, mostly living on plants other than grasses (Mound & Masumoto, 2009). The species are structurally very similar to each other, although A. obscurus is unusual in having lines of sculpture medially on the tergites. The male of this species has been identified and described from Iran (Mirab-Balou & Chen, 2010).

Biological data

Feeding and breeding only on leaves of Poaceae, commonly in the leaf axils and thus causing yellow streaks as the leaves mature; recorded from many grasses and cereal crops, including Avena, Hordeum, Secale, Triticum and Zea.

Distribution data

Probably originally from Western Asia, but now worldwide in temperate areas.

Family name


Species name

Anaphothrips obscurus (Müller)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips obscurus Müller, 1776: 96
Limothrips poaphagus Comstock, 1875: 120
Thrips striata Osborn, 1883: 155
Anaphothrips virgo Uzel, 1895: 148
Anaphothrips collaris Priesner, 1926: 185
Anaphothrips grisea Priesner, 1926: 185
Anaphothrips sexguttus Girault, 1928: 1
Anaphothrips discrepans Bagnall, 1923: 651


Mirab-balou M & Chen X-X (2010) First description of the male of the wheat thrips, Anaphothrips obscurus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Zootaxa 2540: 65–68.

Mound LA & Masumoto M (2009) Australian Thripinae of the Anaphothrips genus-group (Thysanoptera), with three new genera and thirty-three new species. Zootaxa 2042: 1–76.

Nakahara S (1995) Review of the Nearctic species of Anaphothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Insecta Mundi 9: 221–248.