Print Fact SheetAptinothrips rufus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes without wings. Body and legs yellow, antennal segment VI shaded brown. Antennae 6-segmented; segment VI pedicilate, twice as long as V and tapering to apex; segments III & IV each with a simple sense cone. Head and pronotum without long setae; head longer than wide, ocelli not developed. Meso & metanota transverse. Tarsi each with only one segment. Abdominal tergites and sternites with no posteromarginal craspedum; tergal discal setae varying from 2–20; tergite IX posteromedian setae short, about 0.2 times as long as lateral pair of setae; sternites with many discal setae.
Male similar but smaller; sternites without pore plates; tergite IX with 2 pairs of stout thorn-like setae. 

Related species

Four species are recognized in this European genus (Palmer, 1975; zur Strassen, 2003). These are all completely wingless, but differ in the number of antennal and tarsal segments, and also in details of the chaetotaxy on the tergites and sternites. Two of the species are known only from Eurasia, but both A. rufus and A. stylifer are more widely distributed around the world. A. stylifer has the antennae 8-segmented and the tarsi 2-segmented.

Biological data

Feeding and breeding on the leaves of several species of grasses [Poaceae], but despite the high populations, sometimes on cereal crops, there have been no studies on host specificity. Adults in populations growing on halophytic plants around salt marshes are commonly brown rather than yellow, but this is assumed to have an environmental rather than a genetic basis.

Distribution data

Originally from Europe, but now widespread around the world in temperate areas, including mountains in some tropical countries.

Family name


Species name

Aptinothrips rufus (Haliday)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips (Aptinothrips) rufus Haliday, 1836: 445
Thrips (Aptinothrips) nitidulus Haliday, 1836: 446
Aptinothrips connaticornis Uzel, 1895: 153
Aptinothrips intermedius Priesner, 1920: 52
Aptinothrips groenlandica Richter, 1928: 850
Uzeliella lubbocki Bagnall, 1908: 5


Palmer JM (1975) The grass-living genus Aptinothrips Haliday (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Journal of Entomology (B) 44 (2): 175–188.

zur Strassen R (2003) Die terebranten Thysanopteren Europas und des Mittelmeer-Gebietes. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands 74: 1–271.