Print Fact SheetHaplothrips robustus

Distinguishing features

Female fully winged. Body and legs dark brown, fore tarsi, apices of fore tibiae, and sometimes antennal segment III lighter; major setae on head and pronotum pale; fore wing pale with extreme base shaded. Head slightly longer than wide; maxillary stylets about one quarter of head width apart, retracted almost to eyes, maxillary bridge complete; postocular setae capitate. Antennae 8-segmented, segment III with 2 sense cones, IV with 4 sense cones; VIII broad at base. Pronotum with four pairs of capitate setae, midlateral setae no larger than discals; epimeral sutures complete; prosternal basantra and ferna present, mesopresternum eroded to paired lateral triangles. Fore tarsal tooth very small. Fore wing constricted medially, unusually broad distally, with no duplicated cilia; sub-basal setae capitate with bases forming a triangle. Tergites II–VIII with setae S1 capitate; tergite IX setae S1 and S2 bluntly rounded.
Male unknown.

Related species

H. robustus is one of almost 20 species in this genus that lack duplicated cilia on the fore wing, and therefore are usually placed in a subgenus Trybomiella. This species is widespread in eastern Australia, and is known otherwise only from California and New Mexico. However, no males have ever been found, and it is similar in structure to a bisexual Afrotropical species, H. clarisetis Priesner (Mound & Minaei, 2007), under which name it was recorded originally from North America (O’Neill, 1960). The genus Haplothrips is one of the three most species rich genera of Thysanoptera, and currently includes about 245 species worldwide (Mound & Minaei, 2007). These are found mainly from Europe across the Old World, and only a few species come from southern South America (Mound & Zapater, 2003). Although 17 Haplothrips species are listed from Mexico and North America (Mound & Marullo, 1996) only six of these are recorded from California (Hoddle et al. 2004). Little is known of the biology of the Californian species, although elsewhere the species of Haplothrips are associated particularly with the flowers of Poaceae and Asteraceae.

Biological data

Presumably breeding in flowers, adults have been taken from flowers of Asteraceae, Poaceae and Polygonaceae. It was stated by O'Neill (1960) to be damaging lettuce, Lactuca sativa [Asteraceae] in New Mexico, but no details were provided concerning the type of damage.

Distribution data

Although described from Australia, this species was possibly originally from Africa. It has been found in Australia, New Mexico, and California (Los Angeles and Riverside Counties).

Family name


Species name

Haplothrips robustus Bagnall

Original name and synonyms

Haplothrips robustus Bagnall, 1918: 209
Haplothrips melanoceratus Bagnall, 1918: 210.


Hoddle M, Mound LA & Nakahara S (2004) Thysanoptera recorded from California, USA: a checklist. Florida Entomologist 87: 317–323.

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

Mound LA & Minaei K (2007) Australian insects of the Haplothrips lineage (Thysanoptera – Phlaeothripinae). Journal of Natural History 41: 2919–2978.

Mound LA & Zapater MC (2001)South American Haplothrips species (Thysanoptera, Phlaeothripidae), with a new species of biological control interest to Australia against weedy Heliotropium amplexicaule (Boraginaceae). Neotropical Entomology 32: 437–442.

O'Neill K (1960) Identification of the newly introduced phlaeothripid Haplothrips ?clarisetis Priesner (Thysanoptera). Annals of the Entomological Society of America 53 (4): 507–510.