Print Fact SheetEchinothrips americanus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body brown with red internal pigment; tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow, also antennal segments III–IV; fore wings brown but sharply white near base. Antennae 8-segmented, segments III & IV each with curved simple sense cone. Head with complex reticulate sculpture; three pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III anterolateral to ocellar triangle; inner margin of eyes with two pairs of stout postocular setae. Pronotum strongly reticulate, with two pairs of prominent posteroangular setae. Metanotum reticulate; median setae small, arising near anterior margin. Fore wing pointed, curving forward; first and costal veins with long capitate setae, second vein without setae. Abdominal tergites II–VIII with median paired setae long and close together; tergite lateral thirds with irregular rows of prominent microtrichia; VIII posteromarginal comb of microtrichia complete. Sternites with marginal setae arising in front of margin.
Male similar to female; sternites III–VIII each with up to 100 small circular pore plates. 

Related species

This species is not known from California, but is included here as a potential invader because it has become widespread in greenhouse crops. The genus Echinothrips includes only eight species, all of which are found between eastern North America and southern South America (Mound & Marullo, 1996).

Biological data

Breeding on leaves of various plants, and sometimes causing leaf damage to plants in greenhouses, including Impatiens [Balsaminaceae], Euphorbia pulcherrima [Euphorbiaceae], Dieffenbachia and Syngonium [Araceae], Cardamine hirsuta [Crucifeae], Hibiscus rosa-sinensis [Malvaceae)].

Distribution data

Originally from eastern North America, from Illinois to Florida, but since 1995 widespread across Europe (Vierbergen et al., 2006), and recorded from Thailand, Java and northern Australia (Mound et al., 2013). Not yet known from California.

Family name


Species name

 Echinothrips americanus Morgan

Original name and synonyms

Echinothrips americanus Morgan, 1913: 14
Dictyothrips floridensis Watson, 1919: 2


Mound LA, Tree DC & Sartiami D (2013) The greenhouse pest, Echinothrips americanus Morgan, recorded for the first time from Australia and Java. Myrmecia 49: 54–57. 

Mound LA & Marullo R (1996) The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1–488.

Vierbergen G, Cean M, Hatalané Szellér I, Jenser G, Masten T & Simala M (2006) Spread of two thrips pests in Europe: Echinothrips americanus and Microcephalothrips abdominalis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica 41: 287–296.