Print Fact SheetThrips parvispinus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Female body brown, head and thorax paler than abdomen, head commonly with cheeks darker than median area; legs mainly yellow; antennal segment III yellow, also basal half of IV & V; fore wings brown with base sharply pale. Antennae 7-segmented, III & IV each with forked sense cone. Head wider than long, ocellar setae pair III small and arising on anterior margins of ocellar triangle; postocular setae pairs I & III slightly longer than ocellar setae III, postocular pair II minute. Pronotum with 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae; posterior margin with 3 pairs of setae. Metanotum reticulate medially, reticles varying in shape and sometimes with faint internal sculptured markings; median setae long, arising behind anterior margin; campaniform sensilla absent. Fore wing first and second veins with complete rows of setae; clavus with 5 marginal setae. Tergite II with 3 lateral marginal setae; tergite VIII posterior margin with comb almost absent; pleurotergites without discal setae. Sternites II & VII without discal setae, III–VI with about 6–12 discal setae in an irregular row.
Male yellow; tergite VIII with no posteromarginal comb; sternites III–VII each with small transverse pore plate, discal setae arising laterally.

Related species

T. parvispinus has not been found in California. It is included here because it is a potential invader of mainland USA since it is abundant on Hawaii. It is one of a small group of Asian Thrips species, including Thrips orientalis, in which discal setae are present on abdominal sternites III to VI but are not on sternite VII. Thrips is the second largest genus in the Thysanoptera, and currently includes, worldwide, about 295 species. All members of the genus lack ocellar setae I on the head, and they all have ctenidia on tergite VIII posteromesad to the spiracles. Other characters, such as number of antennal segments, number of setae on the fore wing veins, and number of discal setae on the sternites are variable between species (Palmer, 1992; Mound & Masumoto, 2005).

Biological data

Feeding and breeding in flowers and on young leaves of many different plant species. Reported causing serious damage to plantations of pawpaw (Carica papaya) in Hawaii, also damage to various food crops in S.E. Asia, and to greenhouse Gardenia plants in Greece (Mound & Collins, 2000).

Distribution data

Known from Thailand and Malaya to New Guinea and northern Australia, also Hawaii, Micronesian Islands, and Greece, but not yet recorded from California.

Family name


Species name

Thrips parvispinus (Karny)

Original name and synonyms

Isoneurothrips parvispinus Karny, 1922: 106
Isoneurothrips jenseni Karny, 1925: 7
Isoneurothrips pallipes Moulton, 1928: 296
Thrips (Isoneurothrips) taiwanus Takahashi, 1936: 440.


Mound LA & Collins DW (2000) A south east Asian pest species newly recorded from Europe: Thrips parvispinus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), its confused identity and potential quarantine significance. Journal of European Entomology 97: 197–200.

Mound LA & Masumoto M (2005) The genus Thrips (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) in Australia, New Caledonia and New Zealand. Zootaxa 1020: 1–64.

Palmer JM (1992) Thrips (Thysanoptera) from Pakistan to the Pacific: a review. Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Entomology Series 61 (1): 1–76.