This species is structurally similar to mali, but has only three sense cones on the fourth antennal segment, a character state shared with papago.
The genus Leptothrips is related to Haplothrips, but the metanotal sculpture is closely striate not reticulate, and larvae and adults usually have extensive purple internal pigment. Currently, 30 species are listed under Leptothrips, all from the Americas. Johansen (1987) described 22 new species in the genus, with 11 Leptothrips recorded from California. However, Mound & O'Donnell (2017) placed nine species into synonymy and recognised only 15 Leptothrips species from North America of which nine are reported from California. Although at one time placed as a synonym of mali, Mound & O'Donnell (2017) recognised mcconelli as valid due to the presence of only three sense cones on antennal segment IV.
Female holotype of primigenus was collected from Ceanothus integerrimus, with further specimens collected in Mexico from various plants. Most specimens identified as mcconelli have been collected from the leaves of various deciduous trees.
Described from Mexico, specimens identified as mcconelli have been seen from Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Texas, Utah, Idaho and California.
Leptothrips mcconelli (Crawford DL)
Liothrips mcconelli Crawford DL, 1910: 163.
Leptothrips primigenus Johansen, 1987: 72.
Johansen RM (1987) El genero Leptothrips Hood, 1909 (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripidae) en el continente Americano: su sistematica, filogenia, biogeografia, biologia, conducta y ecologia. Monografias del Instituto de Biologia. Universidad Nacional de Mexico 3: 1–246.
Mound LA & O’Donnell CA (2017) Predation, phytophagy and character state confusion among North American species of the genus Leptothrips (Thysanoptera: Phlaeothripinae). Zootaxa 4294 (3): 301-315.