Print Fact SheetNesothrips lativentris

Distinguishing features

Female macropterous or micropterous; body size variable up to about 4mm in length; colour dark brown, tarsi paler; antennal segment III and basal parts of IV & V yellow; fore wings pale to weakly shaded with dark median line.  Antennae 8-segmented, segments III & IV sub-equal in length, III with 2 sense cones, IV with 4 sense cones. Head longer than wide, scarcely prolonged in front of eyes; 1 pair of setae close together between posterior ocelli; 1 pair of long setae just behind eyes; maxillary stylets wide apart and V-shaped in head. Fore tarsus without tooth. Fore wing broad, parallel sided, with about 15 duplicated cilia on posterior margin. Pelta with slender lateral wings; tergites II–VII each with 1 pair of sigmoid wing-retaining setae; tergite IX setae not as long as tube.
Male macropterous or micropterous; similar to female, but large males with fore femora swollen and L-shaped, fore tarsus with stout tooth.

Related species

The genus Nesothrips includes 28 species, mainly from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. The genus is closely related to Carientothrips, a genus which also has many species in the same part of the world. A key to 14 species in this genus was provided by Mound (1974b), but N. propinquus and N. lativentris are both variable in structure, within and between sexes (Mound, 1974a; Eow et al., 2014). Large males have unusually large L-shaped fore femora, although small males and females have normal fore femora; this structural variation suggests that there is some sort of male/male interaction and fighting over resources.

Biological data

Producing colonies on dead fronds of coconut palms, but also on various dead branches and feeding on fungal spores. Winged adults sometimes  disperse and fly onto crops.

Distribution data

Probably originally from the Pacific area, but now widespread in tropical countries, and a potential immigrant to California.

Family name


Species name

Nesothrips lativentris (Karny)

Original name and synonyms

Rhaebothrips lativentris Karny, 1913: 129
Cryptothrips claripennis Hood, 1919: 90
Cryptothrips difficilis Bagnall, 1921: 276
Cryptothrips seychellensis Bagnall, 1921: 274
Gynaikothrips fulmeki Karny, 1925: 49
Cryptothrips magnus Moulton, 1928: 315
Gynaikothrips yuasai Moulton, 1928: 315
Machatothrips ipomoeae Ishida, 1932: 12
Rhaebothrips fuscus Moulton, 1942: 15
Bolothrips australiensis Moulton, 1968: 118.


Eow LX, Mound LA, Tree DJ & Cameron SL (2014) Australian species of spore-feeding Thysanoptera in the genera Carientothrips and Nesothrips (Phlaeothripidae: Idolothripinae). Zootaxa 3821 (2): 193–221.

Mound LA (1974a) Spore-feeding Thrips (Phlaeothripidae) from Leaf Litter and Dead Wood in Australia. Australian Journal of Zoology. Supplement 27: 1–106. 

Mound LA (1974b)The Nesothrips Complex of Spore-Feeding Thysanoptera (Phlaeothripidae: Idolothripinae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 31: 109–188.

Mound LA & Palmer JM (1983) The generic and tribal classification of spore-feeding Thysanoptera (Phlaeothripidae: Idolothripinae). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History). Entomology 46: 1–174.