Female macropterous. Body light brown, tibiae, tarsi and antennal segments III–IV yellowish; forewing shaded medially, veins darker.
Head with postocular region about as long as eye length; one row of postocular setae, pair II not displaced posteriorly out of line, II and V scarcely longer than I, III and IV; 3 pairs of ocellar setae present, pair III within ocellar triangle posterior to first ocellus, shorter than median length of posterior ocelli; maxillary palps 3-segmented. Antennae 9-segmented, III at inner apex with two inflated sensoria with bases weakly constricted, IV usually with 2 conical sensoria; IX elongate with several transverse lines. Pronotal posterior margin with row of about 6 moderately prominent setae; one pair of setae dorsal to posteroangular setae less than 0.5 as long as those setae. Mesonotum medially with one pair of setae. Metanotal concentric sculpture lines widely spaced medially; metathoracic furca with no median spinula; metathoracic sternopleural sutures well-developed. Abdominal tergite I with faint transverse lines medially; trichobothria on X slightly larger than base of major setae; sternites with 4 pairs of marginal setae, but no discal setae; VII strongly emarginate medially the 2 pairs of accessory setae arise on margin (thus apparently 5 pairs of marginal setae).
Male similar to female but varying in size from larger to smaller than female. Abdominal tergite I with two longitudinal ridges; large males with 2 pairs of stout spindle-shaped setae on IX; paired trichobothria present on X; sternites with no discal setae.
The genus Cycadothrips is known only from Australia, with three described species. Each of these varies greatly in size, particularly the males, but all three are very similar to each other in structure despite occuring in widely separated parts of the continent. In C. emmaliami, the sensoria on antennal segment III are inflated but have their bases more constricted than in the other two species. In the chaetotaxy of the head and pronotum this species is similar to C. chadwicki, but the metanotal sculpture lines are more widely separated.
Known only from Australia
Known only from the South West of Western Australia
Breeding in the male cones of Macrozamia riedlei (Zamiaceae).
Adults and larvae occur in vast numbers in the male cones of their host-plant, and adults are attracted to the female cones where they presumably effect pollination (Mound et al., 1998).