Print Fact SheetLeucothrips nigripennis

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs white, fore wings uniformly dark or black, antennal segment II dark, III–VII brown. Antennae 7-segmented, VII slender and longer than VI; sense cones forked on III & IV, segment VI with long simple sense cone arising close to base on inner margin.  Head lacking sculpture. Pronotum transversely striate, with 2 pairs of prominent postero-angular setae. Metanotum with linear sculpture lines converging medially, median pair of setae small and arising medially. Tarsi all 1-segmented. Fore wing slender, pointed; first vein with 2 widely spaced setae on distal half, second vein without setae, postero-marginal cilia straight. Abdominal tergites II–VIII median setae long and close together; lateral thirds of tergites with transverse lines of sculpture bearing widely spaced, small microtrichia; VIII with postero-marginal comb of microtrichia. Sternites III–VII with 3 pairs of long postero-marginal setae.
Male with sense cones simple on antennal segments III–IV.

Related species

Five species are recognized in the genus Leucothrips, three of which are known only from the Neotropics (Mound, 1999). As with other species of the Dendrothripinae, the metathoracic furca is enlarged and lyre-shaped, extending to the mesothorax.

Biological data

Larvae and adults feed on the fronds of various cultivated ferns (Adiantum sp., Davallia sp., Pteris cretica, P. alexandrae, P. wilsoni).

Distribution data

Probably originally from somewhere in the Neotropics, but recorded from greenhouses in USA (Michigan and New York) and northern Europe, also California, Brazil, India, Australia and Japan (Mound, 1999; Masumoto & Okajima, 2017).

Family name


Species name

Leucothrips nigripennis Reuter

Original name and synonyms

Leucothrips nigripennis Reuter, 1904: 108
Microthrips leucus Herrick, 1927: 278
Sporangiothrips acuminatus Daniel, 1985: 528


Masumoto M & Okajima S (2017) Studies on Dendrothripinae (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) from Japan, with new records and one new species. Zootaxa 4362 (3): 405–420.

Mound LA (1999) Saltatorial leaf-feeding Thysanoptera (Thripidae, Dendrothripinae) in Australia and New Caledonia, with newly recorded pests of ferns, figs and mulberries. Australian Journal of Entomology 38: 257–273.