Female macropterous or micropterous. Strongly bicoloured, body and legs brown with abdominal segments IV–V yellow; antennal segments III–IV yellow, V–IX brown; forewing clavus and base pale, with dark band medially and dark apex, costa pale around pale distal area.
Head with postocular region as long as eye length; distal maxillary palp segment not subdivided. Antennae 9-segmented, III–IV with sensorium linear, curving around apex of segment and extending into at least basal half, with internal markings. Mesonotum with one pair of setae medially. Metanotum with transversely striate reticulation, arcuate around anterior mid-point, posterior reticulations broader. Forewing of macropterae relatively short. Abdominal tergite I with faint transverse lines; abdomen sometimes swollen; trichobothria on X no larger than base of major setae on X. Sternites with 4 or 5 pairs of marginal setae, but lateral pairs arise in front of margin; 2 or 3 pairs of discal setae laterally but none medially.
Male macropterous or micropterous, similar to female but smaller. Abdominal tergite I with two longitudinal ridges. Sternites with 1 or 2 pairs of discal setae laterally; IX with no discal setae.
The genus Gelothrips includes three species, one Indo-Australian but the other two from Argentina. The metanotal sculpture of macropterae in these species is similar to that found in Lamprothrips.
Described originally from India.
Widespread in the moister parts of northern Australia, from Brisbane to the Torres Straits Islands north of Cape York in Queensland, and also from Darwin in Northern Territory.
Various tropical Poaceae
Breeding at the base of grasses, where it behaves as an ant-mimic and is probably predatory on mites