Size and Diversity of the Insect Order THYSANOPTERA

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Size and Diversity of the Insect Order THYSANOPTERA


Rather more than 5000 species of thrips are currently listed as having been described worldwide. However, recent studies in the Neotropics as well as in Australia, together with the almost complete lack of field studies on the group in tropical Africa, suggest that the total number of thrips species is likely to be nearer 10,000.

The Insect Order Thysanoptera is usually considered to comprise two sub-orders, the Terebrantia and the Tubulifera. The differences between the members of these two groups are considerable, and have been well summarised by Bhatti (1988). However, the conclusion by that author that these two groups should be recognised as distinct Orders has not found acceptance. The synapomorphies that are shared by the many species involved, including the asymmetric mouth parts with the left mandible absent after the embryonic stage, and the inflatable arolium on the tarsi of adults, are sufficiently remarkable to convince most workers that a single Order best reflects the relationships between these insects.




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Chaetanaphothrips signipennis

Anisopilothrips venustulus

Desmothrips australis

Haplothrips aculeatus

Heterothrips arisaemae

Holarthrothrips indicus

Melanthrips ficalbii