Print Fact SheetRetithrips syriacus

Distinguishing features

Body dark brown, tarsi yellow, antennal segment III yellowish brown, segment V almost white; fore wing grey with three brown swellings. Body shape distinctive, with pterothorax unusually broad. Antennae 8-segmented, but segments VI–VIII sometimes without dividing sutures; III & IV each with a forked sense cone that lacks a clear basal stem and arises in large pit. Head wider than long, ocelli on conical projection, posteromedian area reticulate. Pronotum exceptionally short. Mesonotum without longitudinal division. Metanotum with broad reticulate triangle, one pair of setae near posterior. Tarsi 1-segmented. Fore wing broad, with 3 swellings along costal margin; costa without cilia; posteromarginal cilia straight. Tergites III–X grooved medially, III–VIII with 1 pair of large median setae; VIII with long posteromarginal comb of microtrichia; sternal marginal setae small.

Related species

Only two species are recognised in the genus Retithrips, the second being known only from Indonesia and northern Australia. The fore wings of these two species are highly distinctive, bearing two or more curious blister-like swellings. The antennal segments are foreshortened, but the sense cones on segments III & IV are forked at the base. Despite these differences, the most closely related genus is probably Heliothrips.

Biological data

Breeding on, and often damaging, older leaves rather than newly emerged foliage, of many different plants, including roses, grapevines, Ricinus, cassava, cotton and Eucalyptus (Wilson, 1975).

Distribution data

Originally from the Old World tropics, and found widely in Africa and India, but also established in Brazil, and recorded from Florida.

Family name


Species name

Retithrips syriacus (Mayet)

Original name and synonyms

Thrips (Heliothrips) syriacus Mayet, 1890: 451
Retithrips aegyptiacus Marchal, 1910: 17
Dictyothrips zanoniana Del Guercio, 1918: 106
Stylothrips bondari Bondar, 1924: 46


Wilson TH (1975) A monograph of the subfamily Panchaetothripinae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 23: 1–354.