Print Fact SheetPoecilothrips albopictus

Distinguishing features

Females fully winged. Body brown, pronotum chalky white laterally; tarsi, also base and apex of mid and hind tibiae, yellow; antennal segments III–V yellow at base; fore wing shaded medially. Antennae 8-segmented; sense cones stout on segments III & IV, 2 on III, 4 on IV; segment VIII constricted at base. Head longer than wide, wider across cheeks than across eyes; postocular setae minute; maxillary stylets retracted to eyes, close together medially; mouth cone extending to mesosternum. Pronotum with five pairs of capitate setae; basantra absent. Fore tarsus with no tooth. Meso and metanotum striate, with dots between the striae. Fore wing parallel sided, about 10 duplicated cilia. Pelta triangular; tergites II–VII with two pairs of wing retaining setae of which the anterior pair on each tergite is straight not sigmoid; tergite IX setae S1 and S2 capitate, about half as long as tube.

Related species

The genus Poecilothrips currently includes three species; P. albopictus is widespread, one species is from South Africa, and P. dens Moulton is from California. This third species is known from only two specimens (Cott, 1956) and, since the metanotum is longitudinally reticulate rather than striate (Mound & Marullo, 1996), it is possibly not closely related.

Biological data

Breeding on dead branches of various trees, amd feeding on unidentified fungal hyphae.

Distribution data

Presumably originally from Europe where it is widespread (Mound et al., 2018), but also recorded from New York, Pennsylvania, California and New Zealand.

Family name


Species name

Poecilothrips albopictus Uzel

Original name and synonyms

Poecilothrips albopictus Uzel, 1895: 264
Phloeothrips ornatus Hood, 1913: 165
Cephalothrips harrisoni Bagnall, 1926: 658
Poecilothrips lupini Moulton, 1929: 133


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

Mound LA, Collins DW, Hastings A (2018) Thysanoptera Britannica et Hibernica - Thrips of the British Isles., Identic Pty Ltd, Queensland, Australia.

Mound LA & Marullo R (1996) The Thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction. Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1–488.