Print Fact SheetNesothrips propinquus

Distinguishing features

Female usually wingless, sometimes fully winged. Abdomen dark brown, head and thorax commonly yellowish, legs usually yellow; antennal segments I–IV usually yellow, distal segments brown; major setae brown, fore wing deeply shaded. Antennae 8-segmented; segment III with 2 slender sense cones, IV with 4 sense cones; segment VIII slender and narrowed to base. Head wider than long, narrowed to base, eyes prolonged on ventral surface; one pair of ocellar setae arising between posterior ocelli, postocular setae finely pointed, about as long as eye; maxillary stylets broad, not retracted to postocular setae, wide apart and V-shaped. Pronotum with five pairs of bluntly pointed major setae; epimeral sutures complete; basantra weakly sclerotized, ferna and mesopresternum transverse. Fore tarsi with no tooth. Metanotum with no sculpture medially. Fore wing parallel sided, broad, with no duplicated cilia. Pelta variable, broad with prominent and often separated lateral wings; tergites with one pair of sigmoid wing-retaining setae, weak in apterae; tergite IX setae pointed, shorter than tube; tube shorter than head.
Male usually wingless, very rarely winged. Large males with fore tarsal tooth large, and fore femora swollen.

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 is variable in structure, within and between sexes (Mound, 1974a).

Biological data

Breeding particularly at the base of tussocks of grasses, but also found on dead twigs, and feeds by imbibing fungal spores.

Distribution data

Although possibly originally from New Zealand where it is widespread, this species occurs along the old sailing-ship route from southern Australia to Europe, including South Africa, Argentina and islands in the Atlantic. Found once in California, during June 2006 in Marin County, near San Francisco, from amongst dead grasses.

Family name


Species name

Nesothrips propinquus (Bagnall)

Original name and synonyms

Oedemothrips propinquus Bagnall, 1916: 408
Cryptothrips dimidiatus Hood, 1918: 145
Bagnalliella cestosa Karny, 1920: 41
Oedemothrips propinquus var. breviceps Bagnall, 1924: 634
Oedemothrips propinquus f. obscuricornis Bagnall, 1924: 634
Neosmerinthothrips oleriae Moulton. 1949: 492
Bolothrips similis Hartwig, 1948: 103.


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.