Print Fact SheetSelenothrips rubrocinctus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body blackish brown, tarsi and apices of tibiae yellow; antennal segments III–V yellow at least in basal half; fore wing uniformly dark with black setae. Antennae 8-segmented, III & IV each constricted into neck at base and apex, and wiith a long, forked sense cone; VIII longer than VII. Head with transverse reticulation, cheeks sharply constricted to basal neck; ocellar setae on anterior margins of triangle. Pronotum with transverse lines of sculpture, no prominent postero-angular setae, but 1 pair of long anteromarginal setae. Mesonotum with transverse reticulation, lateral setae minute. Metanotum with median triangle enclosing transverse reticulation, with 1 pair of setae on anterior half. Tarsi 1-segmented. Metathoracic furca elongate and forked. Fore wing with long costal setae, two irregular rows of veinal setae, postero-marginal cilia wavy. Abdominal tergites with lateral thirds reticulate; IV–VIII with median setae longer than distance between their bases; VIII with complete comb of long microtrichia; tergite X without longitudinal division. Sternites with three pairs of long marginal setae.
Male sternites III–VII with small oval pore plate on antecostal ridge.

Related species

This is the only species recognized in the genus Selenothrips. An African species, Xestothrips glabratus (Priesner), has been associated with this genus (Wilson, 1957), but lacks sculpture on the head and pronotum.

Biological data

Larvae and adults feed on the mature leaves of Theobroma cacao [Sterculiaceae], Mangifera indica [Anacardiaceae],  Persea spp. [Lauraceae], and many other trees, but not usually on young leaves. Pupae are also found on leaves. Leaf damage is sometimes associated with water stress (Fennah, 1963, 1965).

Distribution data

Probably originally from Africa, but now widespread in tropical and subtropical countries. Not yet recorded in California, but nevertheless a potential immigrant,

Family name


Species name

Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Giard)

Original name and synonyms

Physopus rubrocinctus Giard, 1901: 263
Heliothrips (Selenothrips) decolor Karny, 1911: 179
Heliothrips (Selenothrips) mendex Schmutz, 1913: 994
Brachyurothrips indicus Bagnall, 1926: 98


Fennah RG (1963) Nutritional factors associated with seasonal population increase of cacao thrips, Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Giard) (Thysanoptera), on cashew, Anacardium occidentale. Bulletin of Entomological Research 53: 681–713.

Fennah RG (1965) The influence of environmental stress on the cacao tree in predetermining the feeding sites of cacao thrips, Selenothrips rubrocinctus (Giard) on leaves and pods. Bulletin of Entomological Research 56: 333–349.

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