Print Fact SheetThrips vulgatissimus

Distinguishing features

Both sexes fully winged. Body and legs brown, tarsi and antennal segment III yellow; fore wings pale. Antennae 8-segmented; segments III & IV each with a forked sense cone. Head as wide as long; cheeks convex, 2 pairs of ocellar setae; pair III arising on anterior margins and slightly longer than side of ocellar triangle; postocular setae pairs I & III shorter than ocellar setae pair III, pair II minute. Pronotum with 2 pairs of long posteroangular setae; posterior margin with 3 (sometimes 4) pairs of setae. Metanotum with parallel lines of sculpture medially converging at posterior; median setae arising near anterior margin; campaniform sensilla present. Fore wing first vein with 3 setae on distal half; second vein with complete row of about 14 setae. Abdominal tergite II with 3 lateral marginal setae, V–VIII with paired ctenidia, on VIII posteromesad to spiracles; tergite VIII posteromarginal comb complete, microtrichia long; pleurotergites with 3–4 discal setae. Sternite II with 2 pairs of marginal setae, III–VII with 3 pairs; sternite II with few discal setae, III–VII with 15 to 20 discal setae in irregular double row.
Male smaller than female; tergite VIII without posteromarginal comb; sternites III–VII with broadly transverse pore plate in front of discal setae.

Related species

T. vulgatissimus is unusual amongst North American members of this genus in having discal setae on the pleurotergites as well as the sternites. T. pruni Nakahara was described as closely similar, based on two females collected in California but with slightly darker tibiae and only two pairs of pronotal posteromarginal setae. In Europe T. vulgatissimus is very similar to T. meridionalis Priesner, a common pest of stone fruits in parts of the Mediterranean region. The genus Thrips is the second largest genus in the Thysanoptera, and currently includes, worldwide, about 295 species. All members of this 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; Nakahara, 1994; Mound & Masumoto, 2005).

Biological data

Breeding in flowers, and apparently polyphagous, but particularly associated with white flowers including various Rosaceae.

Distribution data

Originally from Western Europe, but also found in northern and western areas of North America.

Family name


Species name

Thrips vulgatissimus Haliday

Original name and synonyms

Thrips vulgatissimus Haliday, 1836: 447
Physopus pallipennis Uzel, 1895: 110
Taeniothrips lemanis Treherne, 1924: 87
Taeniothrips vulgatissimus f. gracilis Priesner, 1926: 298
Taeniothrips vulgatissimus f. atricornis Priesner, 1926: 298
Taeniothrips americanus Moulton, 1929: 130
Physothrips gentianae Bagnall, 1933: 653
Taeniothrips tahvanus Hukkinen, 1936: 139.


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

Nakahara S (1994) The genus Thrips Linnaeus (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) of the New World. United States Department of Agriculture. Technical Bulletin 1822: 1–183.

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.