Print Fact SheetPseudophilothrips perseae

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs blackish brown, antennal segment III yellow, IV dark yellow, V–VI variably yellow in basal 0.25 to 0.6; major setae black, setae on tergites VIII–IX pale; fore wing pale with weak shading along margins. Antennae 8-segmented; segment III with one sense cone, IV with 3 three sense cones; VIII slender and slightly constricted at base. Head distinctly longer than wide; post ocular setae longer than dorsal length of eyes with apices softly pointed. Pronotum with 5 pairs of long major setae with blunt apices, posteroangular setae almost as long as median length of pronotum; epimeral sutures complete; prosternal basantra not developed, ferna present, mesopresternum divided into paired lateral triangles. Fore tarsus without a tooth. Metanotum with narrow elongate reticulation. Fore wing parallel sided, with about 25 duplicated cilia; three sub-basal setae sub-equal in length. Tergite IX setae S1 finely acute, about as long as tube.
Male similar to female, but antennal segment VI brown, V yellow at base; tergite IX setae S2 as long and fine as S1; sternite VIII without a pore plate.

Related species

P. perseae is not known from California, but is included here because it is a potential invader given the expanding avocado cultivation in the State. Together with P. avocadis and P. varicornis it was transferred from the genus Liothrips by Mound et al. (2010) because tergite IX setae S2 of males are as long and fine as setae S1, not short and stout as in the males of Liothrips species. P. perseae has the antennae more extensively yellow than in P. avocadis, particularly in females, with shorter sensoria on segments III and IV. The genus Pseudophilothrips comprises 13 species from the Neotropics, of which varicornis extends northwards into California.

Biological data

Breeding on the leaves and feeding on the young fruit of Persea americana [Lauraceae], sometimes causing severe damage to leaves and fruit of avocado in Guatemala.

Distribution data

Recorded from Honduras and Guatemala, and not known from California.

Family name


Species name

Pseudophilothrips perseae (Watson)

Original name and synonyms

Liothrips perseae Watson, 1923: 80


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

Hoddle M, Mound LA & Nakahara S (2004) Thysanoptera recorded from California, USA: a checklist. Florida Entomologist 87: 317–323.

Mound LA, Wheeler G & Williams DA (2010) Resolving cryptic species with morphology and DNA; thrips as a potential biocontrol agent of Brazilian peppertree, with a new species and overview of Pseudophilothrips (Thysanoptera). Zootaxa 2432: 59–68.

Stannard LJ (1957) The phylogeny and classification of the North American genera of the sub-order Tubulifera (Thysanoptera). Illinois Biological Monographs 25: 1–200.

Stannard LJ (1968) The Thrips, or Thysanoptera, of Illinois. Bulletin of the Illinois Natural History Survey 29: 213–552.