Print Fact SheetAnkothrips yuccae

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body, legs and antennae light brown to brown, antennal segments III–IV paler; fore wings fuscous with base a little paler; male pale brown. Antennae 9-segmented, IX longer than VIII, sensoria transverse on III & IV, segment II apex prolonged ventro-laterally into serrate lobe. Head with ocellar setae I arising on conical, slightly bifurcate tubercle, setae III arise within ocellar triangle. Hear with 3 pairs of prominent postocular setae. Pronotum posterior margin with 5 pairs of prominent setae. Mesonotum with no microtrichia. Metanotum striate medially, with median setae near posterior margin. Abdominal tergite VIII median setae scarcely 0.3 as long as tergite; tergite X with paired trichobothria well developed. Sternite VII posterior margin with pair of lobes each bearing two setae at base.
Male tergite IX without pairs of stout setae medially.

Related species

The median setae on tergite VIII of females are shorter than in the other Californian species of Ankothrips, and tergite IX of the males lacks stout discal setae. Currently there are 13 species listed in the genus Ankothrips, seven of which are from western USA with five from California (Bailey, 1957). Of the others, one is from SW Africa, one from Iran, and four from southern or eastern Europe. Although at one time considered members of the Aeolothripidae, all females of Melanthripidae have a pair of lobes at the posterior margin of sternite VII, a condition that is otherwise found only in females of Merothripidae.

Biological data

Breeding in the flowers of  Yucca whipplei [Agavaceae].

Distribution data

Known only from California.

Family name


Species name

 Ankothrips yuccae Moulton

Original name and synonyms

Ankothrips yuccae Moulton, 1926: 119


Bailey SF (1940) A review of the genus Ankothrips D.L.Crawford (Thysanoptera). Pan-Pacific Entomologist 16: 97–106.

Bailey SF (1957) The thrips of California Part I: Suborder Terebrantia. Bulletin of California Insect Survey 4: 143–220.