Until recently, this family was considered to include about 250 species in about 27 genera. However, four of these genera, together with more than 50 species, are now placed in the family Melanthripidae (q.v.).

Almost 50% of the recognised genera of Aeolothripidae are found only in tropical countries, although each of these genera includes few species. In contrast, the largest genus, Aeolothrips, includes about 50% of the species recognised in the family, and is restricted primarily to the Northern Hemisphere.

The tropical aeolothripid species are predominantly obligate predators, whereas most species of Aeolothrips seem to be facultative predators in flowers, feeding on plant tissues as well as small arthropods.

Aeolothripid species have 9-segmented antennae, with the terminal 3 or 5 segments more or less closely joined together, and segments III and IV do not bear rings of microtrichia. Most species have the sensoria on segments III and IV linear, along the segment but sometimes curling slightly around the apex of the segment. However, the species of Rhipidothrips have the sensoria transverse around the apex of these segments. No species Aeolothripidae has a pair of lobes on the posterior margin of the seventh abdominal sternite, in contrast to the species of Melanthripidae.


Aeolothrips bicolor

Aeolothrips collaris


Desmothrips australis

Stomatothrips angustipennis