Print Fact SheetFrankliniella tritici

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Color of body and legs variable, either yellow with dark setae, or brown; antennal segments VI–VIII brown, also distal half of IV; fore wing pale with dark setae. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III–IV with sense cone forked, pedicel of segment III slightly swollen, VIII not longer than VII. Head wider than long; three pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III arising on anterior margins of ocellar triangle but scarcely as long as distance between hind ocelli; postocular setae pair I present, pair IV slightly longer than diameter of one hind ocellus. Pronotum with 5 pairs of major setae; anteromarginal setae 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 present. Fore wing with two complete rows of veinal setae. Abdominal tergites V–VIII with paired ctenidia, on VIII anterolateral to spiracle; tergite VIII posteromarginal comb absent medially but with slender teeth laterally. Sternites III–VII without discal setae.
Male smaller than female; sternites III–VII with small oval pore plate.

Related species

Adults from populations in the southern part of the range of this species, in eastern and coastal USA (Florida, Georgia), are usually yellow, but adults from populations further north west are often dark brown. The possibility of a cline, or of a pair of sibling species, requires further investigation. F. varicorne Bagnall is an available name for the darker northern populations. There are almost 240 species listed in the genus Frankliniella, with up to 130 further names placed into synonymy (Nakahara, 1997).

Biological data

Breeding in flowers, and possibly on the leaves, of a wide range of flowering plant species, and sometimes associated with damage to various crops, but particularly roses.

Distribution data

Probably originally from eastern USA, this species is widespread across North America, and extends South to Mexico and at least northern Brazil (Cavalleri & Mound, 2012).

Family name


Species name

Frankliniella tritici (Fitch)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips tritici Fitch, 1855: 385
Frankliniella varicorne Bagnall, 1919: 268
Frankliniella fulvus Moulton, 1936: 61
Frankliniella tritici f. clara Moulton, 1948: 87
Frankliniella salicis Moulton, 1948: 104


Cavalleri A & Mound LA (2012) Toward the identification of Frankliniella species in Brazil (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) Zootaxa 3270: 1–30.

Nakahara S (1997) Annotated list of the Frankliniella species of the world (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Contributions on Entomology, International 2 (4): 355–389.