Print Fact SheetHoplothrips cunctans

Distinguishing features

Both sexes short-winged. Body and legs brown, all tarsi and tips of tibiae yellow also antennal segments II and III; major setae almost hyaline; fore wing lobe shaded around sub-basal setae. Antennae 8-segmented; segment III with one sense cone, IV with 2 sense cones; VIII short and broad at base. Head about as long as wide; eyes directed forwards, smaller ventrally than dorsally; mouth cone much longer than dorsal length of head, reaching across mesopresternum; maxillary stylets retracted to eyes, close together medially; post ocular setae capitate, shorter than dorsal length of eyes. Pronotum with five pairs of capitate major setae; epimeral sutures complete; prosternal basantra not developed, ferna present but widely separated, mesopresternum complete but slender medially. Fore tarsus without a tooth. Metanotum with elongate reticulation medially, median setae capitate. Fore wing lobe shorter than width of thorax, with three capitate sub-basal setae sub-equal in length. Tergites each with only one pair of wing retaining setae; tergite IX setae S1 and S2 bluntly rounded, shorter than tube.
Male similar and varying in size, with no fore tarsal tooth; tergite IX setae S2 short and bluntly pointed; sternite VIII with large pore plate.

Related species

This species was described from a total of 11 females and 8 males, collected in five different counties of California. Although described in Rhynchothrips, and subsequently placed in Liothrips, it was transferred to Hoplothrips in Hoddle et al. (2012). Unlike most species of Liothrips the males have a glandular area on the eighth sternite, and there are only two sense cones on the fourth antennal segment instead of three. H. cunctans has the mouth cone exceptionally long, projecting backwards between the fore coxae across the mesosternum. This species is known only from short winged adults and bright red larvae, taken under bark on willow trees, and also by beating dead willow and oak tree branches; it thus probably feeds on fungus like other members of this genus. Species in the genus Hoplothrips frequently exhibit considerable sexual dimorphism, males varying in size with some structural characters being allometric, and many species produce winged and wingless morphs. As a result, it is difficult to identify many of the 130 species from around the world that are listed in the genus, as many are known only from few specimens, and there are no identification keys.

Biological data

Breeding under bark and on dead branches, and presumably fungus-feeding, particularly on dead Salix and Quercus branches.

Distribution data

Known only from California.

Family name


Species name

Hoplothrips cunctans (Cott)

Original name and synonyms

Rhynchothrips cunctans Cott, 1956: 68


Cott HE (1956) Systematics of the suborder Tubulifera (Thysanoptera) in California. University of California, Berkeley, Publications in Entomology 13: 1–216.

Hoddle MS, Mound LA, Paris DL (2012) Thrips of California 2012.  CBIT Publishing, Queensland.