Melanthripinae: Cranothrips sititor

Recognition data

Distinguishing features

Female macroptera. Body, legs and antennae light brown to brown, fore tarsi and antennal segments III–IV yellowish; forewings uniformly pale with posterior margin and clavus shaded. Antennae 9-segmented, segment I with short process; sensoria on III–IV incomplete dorsally, with internal markings; IX about as long as VIII. Head with ocellar setae III longer than, and arising on anterior margins of, ocellar triangle. Pronotum with numerous microtrichia, one pair of posteroangular setae, posterior margin with three pairs. Mesonotum with no microtrichia on anterior third, lateral setae short. Metanotum with numerous microtrichia on sculpture lines. Forewing setae scarcely longer than width of veins. Fore tibial apex with two slender ventro-lateral setae. Abdominal tergites with weak sculpture lines medially, many microtrichia laterally; tergite VIII median setae about 0.4 as long as tergite; dorsal setae on IX–X moderately stout. Sternite II with 2 pairs of posteromarginal setae, III–VI with 4 pairs; median sternites with 6 to 10 discal setae, sternite VII with discal setae laterally but not medially. Male smaller than female, tergite I with pair of longitudinal ridges.

Related and similar species

Twelve species are currently described in the genus Cranothrips, 11 from Australia and one from South Africa (Pereyra & Mound, 2009). C. sititor is similar to C. vesper in having rather short setae on tergite VIII, but has one pair of long posteroangular setae.

Distribution data

Central Australia, in desert areas between Bourke (New South Wales), Alice Springs (Northern Territory) and western Queensland.

Biological data

Host plants

Locally abundant in the flowers of Calandrinia species (Portulacaceae).

Life history

Breeding in the flowers of its host, and presumably pupating at soil level. Large populations occur after rains in desert areas.

Taxonomic data

Current valid name

  • Cranothrips sititor Mound

Original name and synonyms

  • Cranothrips sititor Mound, 1972

Australian Species A-Z