Print Fact SheetScirtothrips dorsalis

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body mainly yellow, with dark brown antecostal ridge on tergites and sternites and small brown area medially; antennal segment I white, II–III shaded, V–VIII brown; major setae not dark; fore wings often shaded. Antennae 8-segmented; III & IV each with forked sense cone. Head wider than long; ocellar triangle and postocular region with closely spaced sculpture lines; 3 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III close together between median points of hind ocelli; two pairs of major postocular setae present. Pronotum with closely spaced sculpture lines; posterior margin with 4 pairs of setae, S2 prominent and about 30 microns long. Metanotal posterior half with parallel longitudinal sculpture lines; median setae arise behind anterior margin; no campaniform sensilla. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half, second vein with two widely spaced setae; posteromarginal cilia straight. Abdominal tergites III–VI median setae small, close together; II–VIII with lateral thirds covered in closely spaced rows of fine microtrichia, these microtrichial fields with 3 discal setae, posterior margin with fine comb; tergite VIII with comb complete, lateral discal microtrichia extending medially; tergite IX with several rows of discal microtrichia. Sternites without discal setae, covered with rows of microtrichia except anteromedially; posterior margins without comb of microtrichia.
Male smaller than female; tergite IX posterior angles without pair of stout drepanae; hind femora without a comb-like row of stout setae; sternites without pore plates.

Related species

The two species S. aurantii and S. dorsalis are unusual within the genus in having the abdominal sternites covered with microtrichia, but S. dorsalis has the wing cilia straight not wavy. The genus Scirtothrips currently includes 100 listed species from various parts of the world. Bailey (1964) provided keys to 13 from North America, but that work was based on specimens that were not fully cleared, and thus few structural details were available concerning differences between species. The identity and validity of certain of the species from California requires further study based on freshly mounted, fully cleared specimens. Similarly, Johansen & Mojica-Guzman (1999) provided keys to 37 species from Mexico, but Hoddle et al. (2008) recognised five of these as synonyms of S. perseae, and Mound & Hoddle (2016) placed a further 15 as synonyms of S. citri. Hoddle & Mound (2003) provided information on 21 Scirtothrips species from Australia, and Rugman-Jones et al. (2006) produced a molecular key to several pest species in this genus. Relationships between various Scirtothrips species based on molecular data were further considered by Hoddle, Heraty et al. (2008).

Biological data

Highly polyphagous, although local populations may show some specificity, and breeding on young leaves, but sometimes collected from flowers. This thrips causes feeding damage to various crops, including Lotus in Taiwan, tea and mango in Japan, and Capsicums in Israel.

Distribution data

This southeast Asian species is widespread across Asia, between Pakistan, Japan and Australia, but has been introduced to Israel, the Caribbean area, and parts of northern South America. It is presumably spreading in the world horticultural trade, and by 2018 was considered to be established in California.

Family name


Species name

Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood

Original name and synonyms

Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood, 1919: 90
Heliothrips minutissimus Bagnall, 1919: 260
Anaphothrips andreae Karny, 1925: 24
Neophysopus fragariae Girault, 1927:1
Scirtothrips padmae Ramakrishna, 1942: 169.


Bailey SF (1964) A revision of the genus Scirtothrips Shull (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Hilgardia 35: 329–362.

Johansen RM, Mojica-Guzman A (1999) The genus Scirtothrips Shull, 1909 (Thysanoptera: Thripidae, Sericothripini), in Mexico. Folia Entomologica Mexicana 104: 23–108.

Hoddle MS, Heraty JM, Rugman-Jones PF, Mound LA & Stouthamer R (2008) Relationships among species of Scirtothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) using molecular and morphological data. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 101: 491–500.

Hoddle MS, Mound LA, Rugman-Jones PF & Stouthamer R (2008) Synonomy of five Scirtothrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) described from Avocados (Persea americana) in Mexico. Florida Entomologist 91: 16–21.

Mound L & Hoddle M (2016) Scirtothrips species (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) described from mango, Mangifera indica, in Mexico. Florida Entomologist 99 (4):759–764.

Rugman Jones PF, Hoddle MS, Mound LA, & Stouthamer R (2006) Molecular identification key for pest species of Scirtothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 99: 1813–1819.