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Eight families are included in this sub-order: Merothripidae, Melanthripidae, Aeolothripidae, Adiheterothripidae, Fauriellidae, Heterothripidae, Thripidae and Uzelothripidae (Mound et al., 1980). The first seven of these families form a series in which ancestral character states are increasingly lost, but the family Uzelothripidae includes only a single, highly aberrant, species, whose systematic relationships are not clear.

More than 2000 species are recognised in this sub-order, but 85% of these are placed in one family, the Thripidae, with rather more than 10% in the Aeolothripidae or Melanthripidae. The other five families include less than 5% of the described species.

Females of Terebrantia have an external ovipositor that is composed of four saw-edged valves, with which eggs are inserted into plant tissue. However, in several species this structure is weak, and in a few species it is scarcely developed. In neither sex is the tenth abdominal segment formed into a complete tubular structure, in contrast to both sexes of members of the sub-order Tubulifera.



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Chaetanaphothrips signipennis

Anisopilothrips venustulus

Desmothrips australis

Haplothrips aculeatus

Heterothrips arisaemae

Holarthrothrips indicus

Melanthrips ficalbii