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Limothrips cerealium
Fig. 1


Fig. 2


Fig. 3


Fig. 4


Fig. 5


Fig. 6

Sternite 4

Fig. 7

Tergites 4-5

Fig. 8

Tergite 8-10

Fig. 9


Fig. 10


Fig. 11


Fig. 12



Fig. 1: Antenna (inset: II. - IV. antennal segment)
Fig. 2: Head dorsal with ocellar triangle
Fig. 3: Pronotum
Fig. 4: Meso- and metanotum
Fig. 5: Fore- and hindwing
Fig. 6: Sternite IV
Fig. 7: Tergites IV and V
Fig. 8: Tergites VIII-X

ITS-RFLP gel patterns (1&8 ladder, 2 PCR-product, 3 RSAI, 4 HaeIII, 5 MspI, 6 HinfI, 7 AluI)
Fig. 9: Primer pair CS249/CS250
Fig. 10: Primer pair O1/18J
Fig. 11: Primer pair P1/28Z
Fig. 12: Primer pair 18SMP/28SMP

Taxonomic Information

Limothrips cerealium Haliday, 1836

Limothrips astutus Priesner, 1964
Limothrips minor Bagnall, 1927
Limothrips adusta Maltbaek, 1927
Limothrips aptera Karny, 1914
Limothrips avenae Hinds, 1902
Thrips (Limothrips) cerealium Haliday, 1836
Thrips physapus Linné, 1796

Common name:
Corn or Grain thrips

Present taxonomic position:
Family: Thripidae Stephens, 1829
Subfamily: Thripinae (Stephens) Karny, 1921
Genus: Limothrips Haliday, 1836


Species Recognition

General information about the genus Limothrips:
The five species in this genus are found living in grasses and most are found throughout the world. They are characterized as large dark thrips and can be distinguished from the genera Bregmatothrips, Chirothrips, Iridothrips, and Plesiothrips in having a pair of thorn like setae on abdominal tergite X. In addition, ocelli are present in the macropterous forms whereas they are absent in apterous forms, the antennae are eight segmented with the sense cones either simple or forked and segment II is prolonged into a tooth.

Typical character states of Limothrips cerealium:

Body color
Mainly brown

Number of antennal segments: 8
Segments II and III shape: Segment II symmetric but III with external margin weakly prolonged
Segments III & IV sensoria: emergent and simple
Base of sensorium on antennal segment VI: no more than 2 times as wide as base of nearest seta
Terminal antennal segments: rarely elongate

Distance between bases of ocellar setae III: greater than width of first ocellus
Head shape between compound eyes: distinctly prolonged
Ocellar setae III on head: arising on anterior margin of, or in front of, ocellar triangle
Postocular setae I: present
Surface of head, pronotum and fore legs: without strong reticulate sculpture
Ocellar setae I in front of anterior ocellus: present

Number of pairs of elongate pronotal setae: 0-3
Number of pairs of elongate posteroangular pronotal setae: 1
Pronotum shape: rectangular
Number of pairs of pronotum posteromarginal minor setae: 4-5
Length of anteromarginal median seta: S1 longer than S2

Mesothoracic endofurca: without median spinula

Metanotal median area sculptured lines: with mainly equiangular reticulation
Metanotal median setae length: shorter than lateral metanotal setae
Metanotal median setae position: arising behind anterior margin
Metanotum: without campaniform sensilla
Metanotum major sclerite: with only one major sclerite, this is at least twice as wide as long or with two major sclerites, metascutum and metascutellum
Metanotum median area: with at least some equiangular reticulation
Metanotum sculpture: without dominant sculptured triangle medially
Metathoracic endofurca: transverse, sometimes with simple median spinula

Wings: absent, or not longer than thorax width or present and more than half as long as abdomen
First vein of forewing: distinct from costal vein
Forewing anterior margin: with setae and cilia but cilia longer than setae
Forewing color: uniformly light brown
Forewing costal fringe of cilia: arising at anterior margin of wing
Forewing costal setae at middle of wing: shorter than median width of wing
Forewing first vein setal row: incomplete, with setae not closely and uniformly spaced
Forewing posterior margin cilia: undulated near apex
Forewing second vein setal row: incomplete, with setae not closely and uniformly spaced
Forewing surface: not reticulate
Forewings: with veins, setae and microtrichia

Fore tibial apex: not extending around fore tarsus
Mid and hind tarsi: with one segment

Abdominal pleurotergites: not covered in microtrichia
Abdominal segment X: never tubular, longitudinally incomplete ventrally in both sexes
Abdominal sternite II: with 1 or 2 discal setae in addition to marginal setae
Abdominal sternite III of female: without glandular areas
Abdominal sternite VII: with discal setae present on median area
Abdominal sternite VII median marginal setae: arising in front of margin
Abdominal sternites IV , V and VI: with discal setae present medially as well as marginal setae
Abdominal tergites: without curved wing-retaining setae
Abdominal tergites IV & V median setal pair: much shorter than distance between their bases
Abdominal tergites V-VII: without paired ctenidia, sometimes with irregular microtrichia
Number of discal setae on sternite V: 3-13
Setae on abdominal tergite X: with one pair stout and thorn-like
Surface of lateral thirds of abdominal tergites: without regular rows of fine microtrichia
Ctenidia on tergite VIII: not present, but groups of microtrichia
Tergite VIII posteromarginal comb of microtrichia: absent



Life history:
As with other thrips species the life cycle from egg to adult is dependent on temperature. The full cycle can take about 15 days (Lewis, 1973) to over a month and adults may live for more than one month producing several generations in one year depending on seasonal weather. With greenhouse temperatures the developmental time from egg to adult can decrease to about one week.

Host plants:
Cereals, Poaceae

Vector capacity:
None identified

Current known distribution:
Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, North America

Additional notes:
This species is found in temperate areas and was introduced from Europe and is known to become a pest on cereal grains in eastern US. Stannard (1968) reports that these thrips are known to bite people and enter houses during flights of large thrips populations.


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