Print Fact SheetCompsothrips hookeri

Distinguishing features

Both sexes wingless. Body and legs dark brown; posterior margin of metathorax and anterior margin of first abdominal tergite white, tube yellow with apex dark, mid and hind tibiae darker; antennal segments I–II yellow, III yellow at base shading to dark brown apex. Head longer than wide, elevated dorsally with cheeks strongly convex  and sharply constricted to basal reticulate neck; compound eyes narrowed and prolonged on ventral surface; maxillary stylets retracted to postocular setae, wide apart and V-shaped in head. Pronotum with 3–4 pairs of rather short capitate major setae, midlaterals not developed; prosternal basantra and ferna well developed, mesoeusternal border narrow no wider than interantennal projection. Fore tarsus with tooth. Metanotum sharply elevated medially, with concentric reticulation. Abdominal tergite I (pelta) fully transverse, partially fused to tergite II laterally; tergite IX setae S1 capitate, about as long as tube.

Related species

A total of 27 species are listed in the genus Compsothrips, mainly in tropical countries but with seven described from North America. Of these seven, C. hookeri is widespread across the southern States from Florida to California, two species are from Florida, and four species are from various Western States. These species differ in the color of the basal antennal segments, but given that they are all wingless ant-mimics there must be considerable scope for studies on their behavior, as well as their inter-population variation using molecular data. C. hookeri has the third antennal segment mainly brown in contrast to the yellow of the two basal segments; moreover, the tube is yellow in contrast to the dark brown body.

Biological data

This is an ant mimic, in both structure and behaviour, living at ground level and imbibing spores of unidentified fungi.

Distribution data

Widespread in USA, and reported from California, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Illinois.

Family name


Species name

Compsothrips hookeri (Hood)

Original name and synonyms

Oedaleothrips hookeri Hood, 1916: 64
Oedaleothrips bradleyi Hood, 1937: 111
Oedaleothrips campestris Hood, 1941: 190.


Mound LA & Palmer JM (1983) The generic and tribal classification of spore-feeding Thysanoptera (Phlaeothripidae: Idolothripinae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 46: 1–174.