Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs dark brown, fore tarsi and apices of fore tibiae bright yellow; antennal segments III–V bright yellow, VI shaded at apex; major setae on head and pronotum brown; fore wing pale with extreme base shaded. Antennae 8-segmented, segment III with 2 sense cones, IV with 4 sense cones; segment VIII slender and very slightly constricted at base. Head slightly longer than wide; maxillary stylets about 0.25 of head width apart, retracted to postocular setae, maxillary bridge distinct; postocular setae bluntly pointed, longer than eyes. Pronotum with five pairs of long bluntly pointed setae; epimeral sutures complete; prosternal basantra small, ferna present, mesopresternum eroded to paired lateral triangles that are sometimes weakly joined medially. Fore tarsal tooth small and sharply pointed. Fore wing constricted medially, with about 12 duplicated cilia; sub-basal setae bluntly pointed. Tergites II–VII with setae S1 bluntly pointed; tergite IX setae S1 and S2 pointed; tube relatively long, about 2.5 times as long as basal width.
Male similar to female, fore tarsal tooth broadly based; tergite IX setae S2 short and stout; pseudovirga of aedeagus slender.
H. verbasci has, at times, been referred to the genus Neoheegeria because of its relatively long mouth cone and long major setae, but that genus is now restricted to a few European species that have three sense cones on antennal segment III (Minaei et al., 2007). 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 species are found mainly from Europe across the Old World, and only a few species come from southern South America (Mound & Zapater, 2003). Moreover, only 17 Haplothrips species are listed from Mexico and North America (Mound & Marullo, 1996), with six of these 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.
Breeding in flowers and on flowering stems of Verbascum thapsus [Scrophulariaceae].
Probably originally from northern Europe, but found widely in North America.
Haplothrips verbasci (Osborn)
Phloeothrips verbasci Osborn, 1897: 228
Trichothrips femoralis Moulton, 1907: 61.
Hoddle M, Mound LA & Nakahara S (2004) Thysanoptera recorded from California, USA: a checklist. Florida Entomologist 87: 317–323.
Minaei K, Azemayeshfard P & Mound LA (2007) The southern Palaearctic genus Neoheegeria (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae): redefinition and key to species. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie 150: 55–64.
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.