Both sexes fully winged. Female dark brown, tibiae, tarsi and antennal segment III largely yellow; fore wing pale with dark setae; male mainly yellow with brown markings. Antennae 8-segmented, III & IV each with a forked sense cone, VIII scarcely longer than VII. Head slightly longer than wide, projecting weakly in front of eyes; three pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III as long as anterolateral margin of ocellar triangle, arising just anterior to lateral margins; postocular setae pair I present, pair IV as long as diameter of one hind ocellus. Pronotum with 5 pairs of major setae; anteromarginal setae distinctly shorter than anteroangulars, one pair of minor setae present medially between posteromarginal submedian setae. Metanotum with 2 pairs of setae at anterior margin, campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing with 2 complete rows of veinal setae. Abdominal tergites IV–VIII with paired ctenidia, on VIII anterolateral to spiracle; tergite VIII with no posteromarginal comb of microtrichia. Sternites III–VII without discal setae.
F. tenuicornis is one of the few species of Frankliniella that is associated with grasses, and unlike most other members of the genus the head projects forward slightly in front of the compound eyes. There are almost 240 species listed in the genus Frankliniella, with up to 130 further names placed into synonymy (Nakahara, 1997). This high rate of synonymy has been due to unrecognized variability in size and color of so many species. Scarcely ten species of Frankliniella are considered not native to the Americas, and F. tenuicornis is possibly one of these.
Breeding in the florets of a wide range of Poaceae, including cereal crops, and sometimes associated with damage to grass seed.
Presumably Palaearctic in origin, this species is widely distributed across the northern hemisphere, in Europe extending south to the Mediterranean area and eastward to Japan (zur Strassen, 2003), and in North America south to Florida and California.
THRIPIDAE - THRIPINAE
Frankliniella tenuicornis (Uzel)
Physopus tenuicornis Uzel, 1895: 99
Physopus nervosa Uzel, 1895: 32
Thrips (Euthrips) maidis Beach, 1896: 218
Nakahara S (1997) Annotated list of the Frankliniella species of the world (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Contributions on Entomology, International 2 (4): 355–389.
zur Strassen R (2003) Die terebranten Thysanopteren Europas und des Mittelmeer-Gebietes. Die Tierwelt Deutschlands 74: 1–271.