a b c d e f g h empty empty k l m n o p empty r s t empty empty empty empty empty empty
Thrips tabaci
Fig. 1


Fig. 2


Fig. 3


Fig. 4


Fig. 5


Fig. 6

Sternites 5-6

Fig. 7

Pleurites 2-3

Fig. 8

Tergites 8-9

Fig. 9


Fig. 10


Fig. 11


Fig. 12



Fig. 1: Antenna (inset: III. and IV. antennal segment)
Fig. 2: Head dorsal with ocellar triangle
Fig. 3: Pronotum
Fig. 4: Meso- and metanotum
Fig. 5: Forewing
Fig. 6: Sternites V and VI
Fig. 7: Pleurites II and III
Fig. 8: Tergites VIII and IX

ITS-RFLP gel patterns (1&8 ladder, 2 PCR-product, 3 RSAI, 4 HaeIII, 5 MspI, 6 HinfI, 7 AluI)
Fig. 9: Primer pair O1/18J
Fig. 10: Primer pair P1/28Z
Fig. 11: Primer pair 18SMP/28SMP
Fig. 12: Primer pair TODA1/TODA2

Taxonomic Information

Thrips tabaci Lindeman, 1889

Ramaswamiahiella kallarensis Ananthakrishnan, 1960 
Thrips dianthi Moulton, 1936 
Thrips indigenus Girault, 1929 
Thrips atricornis Priesner, 1927 
Thrips dorsalis Bagnall, 1927 
Thrips irrorata Priesner, 1927 
Thrips nigricornis Priesner, 1927 
Thrips frankeniae Bagnall, 1926 
Thrips seminiveus Girault, 1926 
Thrips mariae Cotte, 1924 
Thrips adamsoni Bagnall, 1923 
Thrips debilis Bagnall, 1923 
Thrips hololeucus Bagnall, 1914 
Thrips brachycephalus Enderlein, 1909 
Parathrips uzeli Karny, 1907 
Thrips bremnerii Moulton, 1907 
Thrips bicolor Karny, 1907 
Thrips annulicornis Uzel, 1895 
Thrips obsoleta Uzel, 1895 
Thrips communis Uzel, 1895 
Thrips pulla Uzel, 1895 
Limothrips allii Gillette, 1893 
Thrips tabaci Lindeman, 1889
Thrips solanaceorum Widgalm in Portschinsky, 1883 

Common name:
Onion thrips
Potato thrips

Present taxonomic position:
Family: Thripidae Stephens, 1829
Subfamily: Thripinae (Stephens) Karny, 1921
Genus: Thrips Linneaeus, 1758


Species Recognition

General information about the genus Thrips:
There are about 280 species currently recognized in the genus Thrips making this genus one of the largest groups within the Thysanoptera. They are separated from other genera in having the following characters, antenna comprising 7 or 8 segments with segments III and IV containing forked sense cones, the head has two pairs of ocellar setae (II and III), pair I is missing, the pronotum with four long setae on the posterior margin, forewing 1st vein usually has a row of setae interrupted by gaps, on lateral sides of abdominal tergites V to VIII there are paired ctenidia, abdominal tergite VIII with ctenidia posterior to the spiracles.

Typical character states of Thrips tabaci:

Body color
Mainly brown or pale or yellow, with some darker markings

Number of antennal segments: 7
Segment IV - forked sensorium: scarcely extending beyond base of segment V
Segments II and III shape: more or less symmetric
Segments III & IV sensoria: emergent and forked
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: not prolonged
Postocular setae I: absent
Surface of head, pronotum and fore legs: without strong reticulate sculpture
Ocellar setae I in front of anterior ocellus: absent

Number of pairs of elongate pronotal setae: 0-3
Number of pairs of elongate posteroangular pronotal setae: 2
Pronotum shape: rectangular Number of pairs of pronotum posteromarginal minor setae: 3-4
Number of pairs of pronotum anteromarginal minor setae: 4-6

Mesothoracic endofurca: with median spinula

Metanotal median area sculptured lines: transverse at anterior, but forming irregular longitudinal reticulations or irregular equiangular reticulation near posterior
Metanotal median setae length: shorter than lateral metanotal setae
Metanotal median setae position: arising behind anterior margin
Metanotum: with campaniform sensilla
Metanotum major sclerite: with two major sclerites, metascutum and metascutellum
Metanotum median area: with at least some or no equiangular reticulation
Metanotum sculpture: without 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: distinct from costal vein
Forewing anterior margin: with setae and cilia but cilia longer than setae
Forewing clavus: terminal veinal seta longer than subterminal seta
Forewing color: uniformly pale or weakly shaded
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: complete, with setae closely and uniformly spaced
Forewing surface: not reticulate Forewings: with veins, setae and microtrichia

Fore tarsus inner apex: without tooth
Fore tibial apex: not extending around fore tarsus - with small curved claw ventrolaterally
Mid and hind tarsi: with two segments

Pleurotergal discal setae: absent
Abdominal pleurotergites: with many rows of fine microtrichia
Abdominal segment X: never tubular, longitudinally incomplete ventrally in both sexes
Abdominal sternite II: with marginal setae but no discal setae
Abdominal sternite III of female: without glandular areas
Abdominal sternite VII: with marginal setae but no discal setae
Abdominal sternite VII median marginal setae: arising in front of margin
Abdominal sternites IV , V and VI: with marginal setae but no discal setae
Number of lateral marginal setae on abdominal tergite II: 3
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: with pair of ctenidia laterally
Number of discal setae on sternite V: 0
Setae on abdominal tergite X: slender
Surface of lateral thirds of abdominal tergites: without regular rows of fine microtrichia
Ctenidia on tergite VIII: posteromesad to spiracle
Tergite VIII posteromarginal comb of microtrichia: present, complete medially
Tergite VIII posteromarginal microtrichia: long, slender and irregular or regular
Lines of sculpture on pleurotergite II: with ciliate microtrichia



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:
Polyphagous, special abundance to onions.

Vector capacity:
Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV)
Iris yellow spot virus (IYSV)
Tomato yellow ring virus (TYRV) 
Tomato yellow fruit ring virus (TYFRV=ToVV Tomato Varamin virus)
Also known to transmit Alternaria porri (a fungus that causes purple blotch on onion), and associated with powdery mildew on canteloupe, strawberry, grape, Oenothera, clover, and rose.

Current known distribution:
Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, Europe, North America, (rare in the tropics)

Additional notes:
Thrips tabaci is commonly known as the ‘onion thrips’ and is wide spread around the world. It causes serious damage to the leaves of onions and is capable of transmitting several tospoviruses. This species is found infesting the flowers and foliage of several of its host plants and can also be found as a predator of small arthropods.


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