Print Fact SheetCompsothrips jacksoni

Distinguishing features

Both sexes wingless. Body and legs dark brown, abdominal segment I and posterior margin of metathorax almost white, abdominal segment V with white mark posterolaterally; mid and hind femora lighter brown, antennal segments I–III mainly whitish-yellow. Head much longer than wide, cheeks convex and 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 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 acute, about as long as tube.
Male with fore tarsal tooth large, fore femora expanded and L-shaped; tergite IX setae S1 and S2 equal in size.  

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. jacksoni has the basal three antennal segments mainly yellow, and the body is dark in color.

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 across western USA, recorded from California, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

Family name


Species name

Compsothrips jacksoni (Hood)

Original name and synonyms

Oedaleothrips jacksoni Hood, 1925: 137
Compsothrips hubbelli Watson, 1931: 341.


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.