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Retithrips syriacus
Fig. 1


Fig. 2


Fig. 3


Fig. 4


Fig. 5


Fig. 6


Fig. 7

Tergites 7-8

Fig. 8



Fig. 1: Antenna
Fig. 2: Head dorsal with ocellar triangle
Fig. 3: Head and Pronotum
Fig. 4: Pronotum and mesonotum
Fig. 5: Meso- and metanotum
Fig. 6: Fore- and hindwing
Fig. 7: Tergites VII and VIII
Fig. 8: Tergites IX and X

Taxonomic Information

Retithrips syriacus Mayet, 1890

Retithrips bicolor Ramakrishna, 1932
Stylothrips bondari Bondar, 1924
Retithrips javanicus Karny, 1923
Dictyothrips zanoniana Del Guercio, 1918
Retithrips aegyptiacus Marchal, 1910
Thrips (Heliothrips) syriacus Mayet, 1890

Common name:
Castor thrips

Present taxonomic position:
Family: Thripidae Stephens, 1829
Subfamily: Panchaetothripinae Bagnall, 1912
Genus: Retithrips Marchal, 1910


Species Recognition

General information about the genus Retithrips:
There are two species in this genus and both have unique thrips characters. The genus is described as having a wide body with heavy reticulate sculpture, antennae are thick and eight segmented with forked sense cones on segments III and IV and with the segments appearing connected and without sutures. The forewings are wide with a few vein setae on the first vein and near the costal margin of the wing there are three evenly distributed bumps.

Typical character states of Retithrips syriacus:

Body color
Mainly brown

Number of antennal segments: 8
Segment IV - forked sensorium: extending to a point at least 30% distal to base of segment V
Segments III & IV sensoria: emergent and forked
Terminal antennal segments: very long, needle like

Head shape between compound eyes: distinctly prolonged
Sculptured reticles on head and pronotum: with internal sculptured markings
Surface of head, pronotum and fore legs: with strong reticulate sculpture, but sometimes irregular
Head posteriorly: not constricted

Number of pairs of elongate pronotal setae: 0-3
Number of pairs of elongate posteroangular pronotal setae: 0
Pronotum shape: rectangular
Sculptur of pronotum: without transverse striate sculpture

Mesothoracic endofurca: without median spinula

Metanotum: with or without campaniform sensilla
Metanotum major sclerite: with two major sclerites, metascutum and metascutellum
Metanotum median area: with at least some equiangular reticulation
Metanotum sculpture: with dominant sculptured triangle medially
Metathoracic endofurca: transverse, sometimes with simple median spinula

Wings: present and more than half as long as abdomen
First vein of forewing: close to or fused to costal vein
Forewing anterior margin: with setae but no cilia or without any long setae or long cilia
Forewing color: uniformly light brown
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: straight, no undulations
Forewing second vein setal row: incomplete, with setae not closely and uniformly spaced or with no setae
Forewing surface: with two or more bubble-like callosities
Forewings: with veins, setae and microtrichia

Mid and hind tarsi: with one segment

Abdominal segment X: never tubular, longitudinally incomplete ventrally in both sexes
Abdominal tergites: without curved wing-retaining setae
Abdominal tergites IV & V median setal pair: longer than distance between their bases
Setae on abdominal tergite X: minute, scarcely visible
Tergite VIII posteromarginal comb of microtrichia: present, complete medially
Tergites III to VI sculpture on lateral thirds: comprising mainly oblique reticulations



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 to over a month and adults may live for more than one month producing several generations in one year depending on seasonal weather (Lewis, 1973). With greenhouse temperatures the developmental time from egg to adult can decrease to about one week.

Host plants:
Avocado, castor bean, Annona squamosa, grapes, roses, Eucalyptus spp.

Vector capacity:
None identified

Current known distribution:
Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Europe, North America

Additional notes:
This species is generally found feeding on the leaves of its host plants.


Ananthakrishnan, TN & Muraleed, N (1972): Free amino-acids in relation to host plant preferences in polyphagous Heliothripines Rhipiphorothrips cruentatus Hood and Retithrips syriacus (Mayet). - Current Science 41 (23): 846-847.
Ananthakrishnan, TN, Gopichandran, R & Gurusubramanian, G (1992):
Influence of chemical profiles of host plants on the infestation diversity of Retithrips syriacus. - Journal of Biosciences 17 (4): 483-489.
Lewis, T (1973):
Thrips their biology, ecology and economic importance. Academic Press Inc., London Ltd. 349 pp.
Medina-Gaud, S & Franqui, RA (2001):
Retithrips syriacus (Mayet), the black vine thrips (Insecta : Thysanoptera : Thripidae) new to Puerto Rico. - Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 85 (1-2): 85-89.
Moritz G, Morris DC, Mound LA (2001): ThripsID - Pest thrips of the world. ACIAR and CSIRO Publishing Collingwood, Victoria, Australia, CDROM ISBN 1 86320 296 X.
Moritz G, Mound LA, Morris DC, Goldarazena A (2004):
Pest thrips of the world - an identification and information system using molecular and microscopial methods. CBIT, University of Queensland,CDROM ISBN 1-86499-781-8.
Mound, LA & Marullo, R (1996): The thrips of Central and South America: An Introduction (Insecta: Thysanoptera). Associated Publishers, Gainesville.
Palmer, JM, Mound, LA & Du Heaume, GJ (1989): 2. Thysanoptera, pp. 73. In Betts, CR [ed.], CIE Guides to Insects of Important to Man. CAB International, Wallingford.
Suresh, G & Ananthakrishnan, TN (1988): Leaf-age correlated changes in oxidative-enzymes in Retithrips syriacus (Mayet) infested Ricinus communis. - Current Science 57 (13): 744-746.
Wilson, TH (1975): A monograph of the subfamily Panchaetothripinae (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 23: 1-354.

Mound, LA (2005): Thysanoptera (Thrips) of the World - A Checklist. http://www.ento.csiro.au/thysanoptera/worldthrips.html