Print Fact SheetChirothrips falsus

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged. Body, antennae and legs brown, tarsi slightly paler, fore wings light brown. Antennae 8-segmented; segment II weakly asymmetric with external margin broadly rounded; segments III & IV with sense cone simple and stout. Head small, weakly prolonged in front of eyes; 2 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III anterolateral to fore ocellus. Pronotum trapezoidal, 2 pairs of prominent posteroangular setae. Metanotum reticulate, sculpture forming arches around posterior midpoint; median setae not at anterior margin, smaller than lateral pair. Fore wings pointed; first vein distal half with 2 setae, second vein with 2 to 4 setae. Abdominal tergites medially with transverse sculpture lines; posteromarginal craspedum with weak lobes; ovipositor serrate. Posterior margin of sternites with tubercles.
Male effectively wingless, wing lobe minute; no ocelli; sternites III–VII with small circular pore plate.

Related species

C. falsus and C. simplex are here considered the same species, although zur Strassen (1967) interpreted the variation as representing two species. Currently there are 42 species worldwide placed in the genus Chirothrips, and Nakahara & Foottit (2012) provided an account of the species from the Americas. The genus was treated in a much broader sense by zur Strassen (1960), whereas Bhatti (1990) created six new genera for several species. In particular, Arorathrips was erected for a group of New World species that have the mesothoracic endofurca reduced. 

Biological data

Breeding and pupating within individual florets of various Poaceae species with no clear specificity.

Distribution data

Widespread particularly in western USA: California, Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Iowa, North Dakota, Illinois. The record from Europe by Bailey (1957) is not supported (zur Strassen, 2003).

Family name


Species name

Chirothrips falsus Priesner 

Original name and synonyms

Chirothrips falsus Priesner, 1925: 312
Chirothrips simplex Hood, 1927: 128


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

Bhatti JS (1990) On some genera related to Chirothrips (Insecta: Terebrantia: Thripidae). Zoology (Journal of Pure and Applied Zoology) 2: 193–200.

Nakahara S & Foottit RG (2012) Review of Chirothrips and related genera (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) of the Americas, with one new genus and four new species. Zootaxa 3251: 1–29.

zur Strassen R (1960) Key to and catalogue of the known species of Chirothrips Haliday, 1836 (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Journal of the entomological Society of southern Africa 23: 144–176.

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