Female macropterous. Body and legs brown; antennal segment III yellow with brown ring at apex, IV sometimes yellow at base, V–IX brown; forewing brown at extreme base but clavus with apex pale, median brown area long, distal transverse pale area almost parallel-sided with pale costal vein.
Head with postocular region as long as eye length; distal maxillary palp segment subdivided. Antennae 9-segmented, III–IV with sensorium curving around apex, weakly sinuate and extending to basal third of segment, without internal markings. Mesonotum with 2 pairs of accessory setae medially. Metanotal reticles with internal dot-like markings. Abdominal tergite I with weak transverse lines medially; trichobothria on X no larger than base of major setae on X. Sternites with 4 pairs of relatively small marginal setae, 6 to 8 pairs of discal setae mainly laterally but sometimes extending medially.
Male similar to female but smaller. Abdominal tergite I with two longitudinal ridges. Sternites with discal setae, at least laterally; VIII with about 14 discal setae in two iregular rows, IX with 3 or 4 discal setae. .
The genus Desmothrips is known only from Australia, with 18 described species (Pereyra & Mound, 2010). D. tenuicornis is a member of the D. australis complex, but has antennal segment III more extensively yellow with just the extreme apex dark as in Aeolothrips fasciatus.
Known only from Australia
Widespread in eastern Australia between Adelaide and Charters Towers, but apparently not common; also recorded from Alice Springs and from Western Australia.
Collected from the flowers of many different plants, with no obvious specificity.
Adults of both sexes have been found, often with larvae, in various flowers.